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Keywords to Understand The Belt and Road Initiative
Keywords provide an insight into the Belt and Road Initiative
 NO. 25 JUNE 22, 2017

The China Academy of Translation, a research institute affiliated with the China International Publishing Group, the country's leading international publisher, has analyzed prevailing terms concerning the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and translated them into a number of foreign languages. In each issue, Beijing Review presents some of these keywords to help readers know more about the initiative.

A Five-Pronged Approach

In his speech at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University on September 7, 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed building a new Silk Road Economic Belt by promoting policy coordination, road connectivity, unimpeded trade, currency convertibility and strengthened people-to-people ties.

The white paper the Chinese Government issued on March 28, 2015 also calls for policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and strengthened people-to-people ties (a five-pronged approach), so as to build a community of shared interests and responsibilities and with a shared future on the basis of mutual trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.

While the five components of this approach are distinct from one another, and the focus may shift between them at different stages of building the Belt and Road, they form an integrated whole and are inseparable and mutually reinforcing.

Steering Group for the Belt and Road Initiative

Implementing the Belt and Road Initiative is a massive undertaking. Domestically, it involves a wide range of government agencies, businesses and civil society organizations. Many projects are likely to extend over years. Integrated planning and guidance are essential. A steering group for the Belt and Road Initiative has thus been established at the national level to study important issues related to planning, policy and projects as well as to provide guidance and coordination in the implementation of the initiative. Headed by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, the group consists of representatives from relevant government agencies, including the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce. The secretariat of the steering group, which is placed under the National Development and Reform Commission, is responsible for the day-to-day work of the group. Steering groups at ministerial and provincial levels have also been established, each headed by a key member of the leadership team of the ministry or province (or autonomous region or municipality) concerned.

Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road

A white paper entitled Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road was jointly issued by China's National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce with the authorization of the State Council on March 28, 2015.

The document explains the background of the initiative and outlines its guiding principles, broad objectives and the priority areas and mechanisms for cooperation. It emphasizes the need for joint efforts through consultation to bring benefits to all. Also highlighted is the inclusive approach to building the Belt and Road, with a focus on finding win-win solutions—achieving success requires collaboration of the countries along the proposed routes, rather than a solo performance by China. The white paper goes on to illustrate the specific roles that can be played by China's provinces and autonomous regions, like Fujian and Xinjiang, in implementing the initiative.

Comments to yanwei@bjreview.com

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