Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

21st Century Maritime Silk Road: A Good Fit with History

2014-04-10 16:51:00   By:中国东盟传媒网    Hits:


In February, 2014, the Chinese Foreign Ministry first elaborated on the connotation of “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” – exploring the idea of “mutual learning” denoted by the ancient Silk Road and adding new content to it to realize common prosperity in the region.

“If China and ASEAN went through quantitative development in the past, they are going to bring qualitative change in the future”. In the eyes of Su Hao, Professor at China Foreign Affairs University, a complete industrial chain in which production and marketing are closely linked should be formed on the Maritime Silk Road between China and ASEAN, tying up the economy of both sides. As a matter of fact, China has initiated a new round of negotiations on trade in service between China and ASEAN, striving to raise bilateral trade to $1,000 billion in 2020 and keep the incremental two-way investment at $150 billion in the upcoming 8 years.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road presents important development opportunities for China as well as countries along the Maritime Silk Road. The construction of Maritime Silk Road was listed in the “Program of Action” for the all- round and in-depth reform at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. In 2014, the Chinese government included “Maritime Silk Road” in the year-round work plan for the first time and urged the release of the strategic planning on it. At present, over 10 provinces or autonomous regions including Guangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Hainan have been very active in introducing various policies. And the reviving plan of the Maritime Silk Road has brought unprecedented vitality to the economy of these regions. This will provide a superexcellent paragon for those countries along the Maritime Silk Road.

Besides, with the advancing of the Maritime Silk Road, there is bright future for connectivity construction between China and ASEAN and even other regions in roads, railways, water transport, aviation, telecommunications, and energy etc. China encourages local enterprises to invest abroad and welcomes enterprises all over the world to invest in China, hoping to make progress in areas that are not fully explored, which is warmly welcomed by the ASEAN countries.

Market analysts believed that in the golden development period of the Maritime Silk Road, investing enterprises could make double benefits. In the early stage of construction, 3 industries are considered “hot cakes”, which are oil industry, tourism and power grid equipments.


On March 11th, China’s State Oceanic Administration released the 2013 Statistical Bulletin of China’s Marine Economy, which shows that China’s gross ocean production reached 543 million yuan in 2013, a growth of 7.6% compared to 2012, accounting for 9.5% of China’s GDP. China’s total amount of projects along the way reached 37.9%, and mutual visits between China and ASEAN amounted to 15 million. In 2012 alone, the Maritime Silk Road had created a total output value of $690 billion, which accounted for 17.9% of the foreign trade of China’s gross ocean production. This shows the broad market space of the Maritime Silk Road.

Zhang Zhanhai, the Director of the Strategic Planning and Economy Division of China’s State Oceanic Administration, said, “Maritime cooperation should be diversified and tap into industries that could drive bilateral economic development. I suggest that far-sighted enterprises should acquaint themselves with newly- released policies directed at the Maritime Silk Road by local governments, in case they would miss the optimal time for investment”. He also claimed that China’s State Oceanic Administration has carried out negotiations and signed MOUs with several ASEAN countries, so as to ensure an unimpeded Maritime Silk Road. It is believed that a healthy and vigorous maritime economic belt is going to emerge in the near future. 

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