Sub-Forum on Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

On March 28, 2015, the session of Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and launching ceremony of the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation was held during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015. State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn of Thailand, and others attended and addressed the event.

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China State Councilor Yang Jiechi

Yang Jiechi noted that the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road aims to continue pushing forward the Silk Road spirit featuring peace, friendship, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit as well as the all-round maritime cooperation. China stands ready to work together with other countries to build maritime partnerships of win-win cooperation. China is ready to work with other countries to deepen mutual trust, connect development strategies, match maritime projects and intensify institutional connectivity and so that results can be gained at an early date. As this year marks the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation, it is hoped that the all-dimensional maritime cooperation between China and the ASEAN will become a model for the development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Tanasak Patimapragorn said that Thailand supports the “Belt and Road” initiative, and the ASEAN members are willing to intensify maritime cooperation with China to promote connectivity in Asia.

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Key points discussed at the Sub-Forum are the following:

  • The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is perceived to enhance the progress of the “blue economy” and to develop new sources of economic growth
  • Maritime cooperation will entail wide consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits with partners
  • The boost to connectivity through large-scale investments in transport infrastructure could lead to economic gains
  • The China-led initiative could close the infrastructure gap in many developing countries by providing much-needed financing

The Sub-Forum highlights “China’s role in spurring the pace of infrastructure upgrade and development along the planned trading routes. It also highlights China’s experience and strengths to the table, including other initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Silk Road Fund, as all these could play a big part in financing improvements in infrastructure and connectivity.”

“Connectivity remains highly relevant and important to facilitate free flow of goods and services, investment, information and people across countries and economies to stimulate economic growth, improve social wellbeing and spur regional integration. The boost to connectivity through large-scale investment will help bolster global recovery, which has been flagging in recent months.”

It is said that the “objective is eventually to achieve pan-Asia connectivity through interactions, understanding and cultural exchanges on a number of forums and platforms. This is already underway, with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the ASEAN China Free Trade Agreement, and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Lifted from the following: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1250539.shtml http://english.boaoforum.org/sums/18973.jhtml