On Sept. 7, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) hosted an international seminar to commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative in Beijing. At the seminar, Handbook of the Belt and Road (2020) was launched.
Development over eight years
During his visits to Central and South Asian countries on Sept. 7 and Oct. 3, 2013, respectively, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposed to jointly build the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” said CASS President Xie Fuzhan. This has started a new journey for China to open up at a higher level and promote common prosperity and development in the world. After eight years of hard work, the foundation has been laid for jointly building the B&R. It has now entered a stage of high-quality development of implementation and fulfillment.
Xie pointed out that B&R construction focuses on the common development and prosperity of all countries. It is a visible and substantive measure that has brought tangible benefits to countries and regions along the route.
The practical results of the past eight years have fully demonstrated that the B&R initiative conforms to the trend of the times, the law of development, and the interests of the people of all countries, and has broad prospects, Xie noted.
At the same time, the high-quality development of the B&R still faces many new situations, problems, and challenges, Xie continued. “It requires us to firm up direction and confidence, and constantly transform difficulties and challenges into opportunities and motivation for greater development.”
The B&R initiative not only involves economic cooperation, but is also an important method for improving the global development model and global governance, and promote the healthy development of economic globalization, said CASS Vice President Wang Linggui. It conforms to the inherent requirements of reforming the global governance system, and reflects the desire of all countries, especially developing countries, to promote peace and seek development.
Today’s world is increasingly closely connected, and mankind is increasingly becoming a community with a shared future. Just as any country or region must seek its own economic and social development, no country or region can develop independently in a state of being separated from each other. Globalization is thus indispensable for them, said CASS Member Cai Fang.
“Connectivity is both the core of globalization and the shortcoming of the global value chain,” Cai continued. Connectivity needs to be improved through the construction of cross-regional infrastructure. The reason why B&R construction has received a positive and widespread response is that the initiative itself and its implementation have responded to the actual needs of globalization and the development of related countries.
Updated B&R handbook
Published by China Social Sciences Press, Handbook of the Belt and Road shares the perspective of the theory and practice of the Belt and Road. It showcases the B&R’s original intentions and principles, history and current situation, and also basic knowledge and latest studies.
Since its first edition in 2018, Handbook of the Belt and Road has been updated and has been translated into more than ten languages, including English, German, Hungarian, and Arabic. Handbook of the Belt and Road (2020) has a total of 155 entries, 38 more entries than the 2018 edition, reflecting the latest progress of B&R theory development, practical exploration, and experience summary.
The handbook not only provides an important reference and research basis for Chinese scholars to study the B&R, but more importantly, it interprets China’s development concepts and policy ideas and other issues contained in the B&R initiative, concluded Gong Xiaosheng, former special envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East issue.
At the seminar, China Social Sciences Press and Routledge officially signed a contract for the publication and distribution of the handbook’s 2020 edition.
Jeremy North, managing director for books publishing at Taylor & Francis, said in his video speech that the international situation of late has increasingly highlighted the need for international cooperation, and the need for infrastructure for the supply and transportation of goods. The modern world needs interconnection, and in particular, sustained investment, to meet ever evolving challenges. Handbook of the Belt and Road provides authoritative guidance on solving these problems, and will help us jointly deal with the new challenges facing the world today.