Academics say China must work harder to make ‘One Belt, One Road’ a success

During a symposium in Beijing on Monday arranged by Hebei University, a number of academics criticized the publicity conducted by the Chinese government with regard to its new One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, aimed at improving the economic, political and social relations between China and the countries located along the former Silk Road, claiming that Beijing should expend more effort to introduce the initiative to the countries involved.
The International Symposium for Islamic Countriesand’ Development took place at Beijing Language and Culture University and was organized by the Research Centre for Social Development of Islamic Countries at Hebei University and supported by many other universities. Hundreds of local and foreign academics in the fields of media, philosophy, culture and international relations attended the symposium.
According to the Cihan news agency, many of those present said that that the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative was welcomed by the countries located along the former Silk Road when it was firstly brought forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a trip to Kazakhstan, saying that the media has not given much space to the project even though it has been taken seriously by Turkey and Pakistan.
Emphasizing the importance of international support, some speakers also said that the Chinese government should collaborate more with civil society organizations in the countries involved in OBOR.
h2 The Research Think -Tank Union for andlsquoand’One Belt One Road and’and’Countries was foundedh2 During the conference, those present agreed to set to the Research Think-Tank Union for andlsquoOne Belt, One Roadand’ Countries with the support of various Chinese universities and social research centers, which will seek to enhance coordination and cooperation among the countries involved in the OBOR initiative.
Saying that the think tank would work to improve commercial and political relations, Professor Bai Gui from Hebei University, the chairman of the think tank, and Professor Cheng Manli, the director of its academic committee, stated that the foundation would be an important step contributing to the success of OBOR.
Adding that the initiative would enhance interactions between China and the Islamic countries involved, some of those present claimed that the Chinese government needed to work harder to convince those countries of the importance of the project.
The members of the think tank are: The Research Centre for Social Development of Islamic Countries of Hebei University the Arab Research Center of Beijing Language and Culture University the Beijing Society For Comparative International Studies the National Institute of Strategic Communication Peking University the World Media Research Centre of the China Social Science Institute the Social Development Research Center of Tianjin Normal University the Middle East Research Institute of Shanghai International Studies University the World Media Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciencesand’s Institute of Journalism and Communication the Islamic Cultural Institute of Northwest University for Nationalities the Media Development Research Center of Wuhan University the China Youth College for Political Journalism and Political Communication Research Center the Islamic Institute of Lanzhou University the Hui Nationality Institute of Ningxia University the Iranian Research Center of Yunnan University the Religion Research Institute for Nationalities of Northwest University of Political Science Huazhong University of Science and Technologyand’s International Communication Strategy Collaborative Innovation Center the China Association for Science and Technologyand’s Communication and Popularization Research Center of Tsinghua University and the Chongqing International Institute for Strategic Studies.
China pioneered the foundation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to provide financing for infrastructure projects such as OBOR, which will begin operations in 2016. The bank was set up with $100 billion of equity in 2014.
China established a $40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund in October 2014 to boost connectivity between Silk Road countries. The fund will provide investment in infrastructure, resources and industrial and financial cooperation, among other projects.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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