11 months ago

The Star: May 11, 2017

22 Thursday

22 Thursday May 11 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Work Together to Promote the Belt and Road Initiative The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held from May 14 to May 15 in Beijing. The Belt and Road Initiative has become an important platform for international cooperation with the bright prospects in the world amid rising protectionism and unilateralism. Since the initiative was proposed four years ago, China has expanded its “circle of friends” in the Belt and Road region with fruitful achievements in infrastructure construction and capacity cooperation, seeking further development in the future. It is worthwhile to know more about this important initiative and its implications for the world. Background of the Belt and road InItIatIve More than two millennia ago, the diligent and courageous people of Eurasia explored and opened up several routes of trade and cultural exchanges that linked the major civilisations of Asia, Europe and Africa, collectively called the Silk Road by later generations. For thousands of years, the Silk Road Spirit — “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit” has been passed from generation to generation, promoted the progress of human civilisation, and contributed greatly to the prosperity and development of the countries along the Silk Road. Symbolising communication and cooperation between the East and the West, the Silk Road Spirit is a historic and cultural heritage shared by all countries around the world. In the 21st century, a new era marked by the theme of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, it is all the more important for us to carry on the Silk Road Spirit in face of the weak recovery of the global economy, and complex international and regional situations. When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Central Asia and Southeast Asia in September and October of 2013, he raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st -Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road), which have attracted close attention from all over the world. The Belt and Road run through the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and developed European economic circle at the other, and encompassing countries with huge potential for economic development. The Silk Road Economic Belt focuses on bringing together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe (the Baltic); linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia; and connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean. The 21st -Century Maritime Silk Road is designed to go from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other. new engIne for gloBalISatIon and IncluSIve cooperatIon Globalisation currently is facing various problems and challenges, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will become the engine for the future of globalisation. The Belt and Road Initiative is against narrow-minded protectionism and isolationism. The Initiative has become the common cause of the world which will help rebalance the economic globalisation by making it more universally-beneficial and inclusive. With its guiding principles of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”, the initiative has become a chorus instead of a solo. It aims to modernise the ancient trade route while aspiring to create common prosperity. China’s initiative to jointly build the Belt and Road, embracing the trend towards a multi-polar world, economic globalisation, cultural diversity and greater IT application, aims at being highly efficient in terms of the allocation of resources, and at achieving a deep integration of markets among the countries concerned. It will thereby jointly create an open, inclusive and balanced regional economic cooperation architecture that benefits all. Countries along the Belt and Road have their own resource advantages and their economies are mutually complementary. Therefore, there is a great potential and space for cooperation. We promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds as our five major goals, and strengthen cooperation in the key areas. early harveSt of the InItIatIve The past four years have witnessed the launching, expansion, fasterthan-expected progress and fruitful outcomes of the Belt and Road Initiative. The UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, UNESCAP, APEC, ASEM, the GMS have all incorporated or reflected Belt and Road cooperation in their relevant resolutions and documents. A number of important early harvests have been made. Economic corridor development is making steady progress. An interconnected infrastructure network is taking shape. Trade and investment have increased significantly. Key project cooperation is underway. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Silk Road Fund have provided firm support to financial cooperation. China Railway Express trains to Europe have been operating on the vast Eurasian continent, loaded with goods and matching the market needs of countries along the route. gloBal growth StImulator The construction of the Belt and Road Initiative benefits not only China itself, but also countries along the routes. Against the backdrop of insufficient global demand, the blueprint will make contributions to the world economic growth. Chinese enterprises have so far established 56 economic and trade cooperative zones in more than 20 countries along the routes, invested accumulatively more than 18 billion U.S. dollars, and created 1-billion-dollar revenue and 160 thousand jobs. Last year, China’s direct investment in 53 countries along the routes reached 14.53 billion dollars and the total value of contracts China signed with 61 related countries reached over 126 billion dollars. In the spirit of regional connectivity, China has initiated railway, road, civil aviation, electricity and telecommunications projects across the Belt and Road. Because of new infrastructure projects, the Belt and Road region’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 grew by 4.6 percent, exceeding the developing economy’s average growth of 3.6 percent. China has signed more than 130 bilateral and regional transport agreements with countries involved in the Belt and Road, according to the Ministry of Transport of China. The on-going Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway (HSR) project in Indonesia, an investment of 5.1 billion U.S. dollars, was officiated last January. The Thai-China Industrial Park in Rayong, located some 200 km from Bangkok, is now the biggest center of industrial cluster, manufacturing and export of China’s traditional industries in ASEAN countries. The industrial park has so far attracted about 90 corporations with agreements of 2.5 billion dollar investments. This year, the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative will continue to be a growth point of the global economy, and the further expanding of trade exchange, infrastructure connectivity and financial intermediation will drive the development of production capacity cooperation, cross border e-commerce and other fields. This advertorial page is supported by The Chinese Consulate StrategIc coordInatIon China has pushed forward the Belt and Road initiative with solid progress and stepped up policy coordination with countries along the route, which have responded positively with practical coordination strategies. The initiative has so far gained the support of over 100 countries and international organisations, and more than 40 of them have signed cooperation agreements with China, reaching a broad international consensus on the initiative. The concept of the economic belt was first proposed by Xi on a visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, and Kazakhstan was the first country with which China started capacity cooperation and strategic coordination. The two sides have achieved some early results including 51 major cooperation projects worth over 27 billion dollars and more than 1,200 China-Europe freight trains that passed through Kazakhstan. During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia in March, the two sides agreed to integrate the Belt and Road initiative with Northern Australia development plan. Jan Adams, Australia’s ambassador to China, has said that the initiative and the Northern Australia development plan are highly complementary on a strategic level, and that the two sides have achieved consensus on aligning the two efforts. During Li’s visit to New Zealand in late March, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the initiative, making New Zealand the first western developed country to participate substantively in the Belt and Road. The visit has prompted the establishment of organisations supporting the Belt and Road. For example, the Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN) is being forged by New Zealand business interests, headed by William Zhao, director and CEO of the Chinaowned Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company. President of the ruling National Party Peter Goodfellow and National MP Yang Jian have also announced the launch of the Belt and Road promotion mechanism, a public service platform and network system to boost cooperation with China. Belt and road forum for InternatIonal cooperatIon With the imminent Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from in May in Beijing, development of the initiative has stepped into a golden period. Thus far, 28 heads of state and government leaders have confirmed their attendance at the forum. Other delegates include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and reporters from 110 countries, and representatives of 61 international organisations. By hosting the forum, China hopes to discuss cooperation, promote strategic coordination and deepen partnerships in the next stage, so as to advance international cooperation and achieve a win-win result with the development and structural adjustment of Chinese economy and society. To better build consensus and advance cooperation, China has set “Belt and Road: Cooperation for Common Prosperity” as the Forum’s theme. The agenda will focus on connectivity of policy, transportation, trade, finance and people. Discussions will be conducted on key topics such as infrastructure connectivity, economic cooperation and trade, industrial investment, energy and resources, financial support, people-to-people exchanges, ecological and environmental protection and marine cooperation. The Leaders Roundtable, the highlight of the Forum, will focus on two topics: Policy Synergy for Closer Partnership and Connectivity Cooperation for Interconnected Development. The theme and agenda are highly relevant, considering the circumstances and challenges our world faces. The forum will give impetus to the Belt and Road cooperation which features mutual respect and trust, mutual benefit and winwin cooperation, and mutual learning between civilisations. As long as all countries along the Belt and Road make concerted efforts to pursue common goal, there will be bright prospects for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, and the people of countries along the Belt and Road can all benefit from this Initiative.

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 11 2017 23 News Freemasons mark 300 years • By Julia Evans WHAT DO Shakespeare, George Washington, Beethoven and the Duke of Edinburgh have in common? All of these men have been part of an organisation about to celebrate its 300th anniversary – the Freemasons This weekend, Christ’s College will host some of the 10,000 Freemasons from around the country coming together to mark the significant tercentenary. District grandmaster Geoff Row said celebrations will be happening across the globe, culminating in a major event in London in October. Christchurch Freemason Bruce Russell has been working on the anniversary plans now for at least three years. “The stonemasonry buildings at Christ’s College connect us back to where everything started in England,” he said. The weekend’s celebrations include a dinner, church service and a march through the central city “The celebrations are going to be magnificent,” Mr Russell said. ANNIVERSARY: Freemasons district grandmaster Geoff Row and district grand secretary Ron Sutherland will host the celebrations at Christ’s College this weekend. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER Duke of Edinburgh George Washington Famous members throughout history Ludwig van Beethoven William Shakespeare Delay to high country fence decision • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding A DECISION over a ratepayerfunded fence in a high country station has been held off by the Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee after concerns more research needs to be done on the project. About five zone committee members will travel to Cave Stream later this month to visit the site. It was planned the committee would make a final decision on supporting the funding for a proposed fence by Flock Hill Holdings Ltd last Tuesday. Environment Canterbury proposed putting $44,236 towards fencing off a section of Cave Stream and associated 35ha wetlands at the station. It comes after an application by Flock Hill’s leaseholder Flock Hill Holdings, owned by Jim Foster and Vince Saunders of Los Angelesbased Coast Range New Zealand. This was for vegetation clearance on nearby terraces so it could intensify grazing on the land. It proposed fencing off Cave Stream as a way of mitigating the associated loss of biodiversity on the terraces. The landowners will contribute $22,000 towards the project.