Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said that China's two initiatives of building a Silk Road economic belt and a 21st-century maritime Silk Road have "an overall bearing on the big Asian family."
Yang made the remarks at a session of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference on April 10, where he expressed opinions on reviving the Silk Road with prime ministers of Laos, Timor-Leste and Pakistan.
He said the Asian people opened the ancient Silk Road, withstanding great hardships, and preserved it throughout the years. Europe was the end of the ancient Silk Road, yet silk originated from China, where the Silk Road started, and many important areas of the Silk Road ran through Asia.
Yang said now that conditions for transport and infrastructure are much more improved, countries in Asia may well live up to the Silk Road spirit of peace, friendship, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and endeavor to add to it a new dimension by bringing regional cooperation to a new stage.
"The ancient Silk Road was a road for commerce and trade. Likewise, the Silk Road initiative also seeks to promote economic cooperation on a priority basis," he said.
"They are not aimed at creating exclusive blocks or compromising existing multilateral mechanisms," Yang said, adding that the Belt and Road initiatives are for open cooperation, with economic and cultural cooperation being the focus.
"The collective renewal of Asia in the future will come alongside the revival of the Silk Road," he said.
The foreign leaders present at the forum agreed on the initiatives, expressing their will to contribute to the buildup process.
Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the initiatives provide opportunities for regional cooperation. Timor-Leste's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said implementing the initiatives will create new interaction patterns of relations among countries.
The two initiatives of building a Silk Road economic belt and a 21st-century maritime Silk Road, known for short as the Belt and the Road, were put forth by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his two separate visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia last fall.
(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2014)