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Securing the Belt and Road

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-03 07:47

Securing the Belt and Road

Tourists ride camels on the Mingsha Sand Dunes during a visit to Crescent Moon Spring on the outskirts of Dunhuang county. [Photo/China Daily]

Since they were first proposed in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road have captured the imagination of people around the world. And appreciable progress has been made in advancing them with various countries and regions.

However, the security situation in some countries along the routes and the strained relations between some countries, as well as the interventions by the United States in the South China Sea and the anti-globalization approach adopted by the new US administration have hindered the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative to some extent. Hence, despite being focused on the economic realm, the smooth implementation of the initiative requires a sound global security order.

As China increasingly expands its overseas presence with the rapid advancement of the two new Silk Roads, protecting its enormous overseas interests as well as the personal safety of those Chinese working overseas is a task it cannot shun. Thus, how to push for the building of a new international security system, especially at a time when the US is trying to check China's growing economic influence, has become a necessary step to facilitate China's rise.

From a historical perspective, the rise of a new power has usually been followed by the reorganization of the established international security order. This has often been through war. This may explain why there are concerns among some over China's rise.

However, war has not always been the outcome and the millenniums-long development of the Chinese nation indicates that it has no desire to pursue hegemony. The Chinese empire and the Asian order centered on it were different from the colonial empires of Western countries.

In its advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative, China must, through coordination and cooperation, forge a security order of mutual trust and equality with the countries involved.

--China Youth Daily

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