‘Belt and Road the key to peace’

BEIJING: The Belt and Road initiative is about more than just building roads and railways. It is about building connectivity that leads to peace, prosperity, openness and development for all, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said.

“China is ready to work with all parties, including the United States, to translate these grand ideas into reality,” Cui said at a meeting of prominent Chinese-Americans in Beijing on Thursday.

“We are encouraged by the positive response from the international community to the success of the Belt and Road Forum for Interna­tional Cooperation.”

The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

The United States has formed the American Belt and Road Working Group to serve as “one node” for cooperation on the initiative, said Matthew Pottinger, a special assistant to President Donald Trump and leader of the US delegation to the forum.

Cui received a Leadership Award for Advancing US-China Relations on Thursday at the opening of the 2017 annual conference of the Committee of 100.

The C100 is an organisation of Chinese-Americans dedicated to the spirit of excellence and achievement in the United States. Its members include architect I.M. Pei and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Trump’s pick for US ambassador to China, also received the award.

Borrowing from the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, Cui said when a person is not feeling well, the root cause is that his qi or universal life energy is disrupted, as qi is essential in keeping body parts connected and working in harmony.

“So, when our world is not feeling well, something important that is supposed to flow smoothly is missing,” Cui said.

“To our world today, the missing qi is connectivity, both in the physical and subjective sense.”

The initiative offers the right spirit and tools to connect countries and regions and peoples, he added.

It aims to realise physical connectivity in land, sea, air and cyberspace, as well as soft connectivity in terms of policies, rules and standards, he said.

It also enables the unimpeded flow of capital, technology, information, products, industries and personnel.

The ambassador said he believed the Xi-Trump meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, in early April helped foster better connectivity between China and the United States.

Cooperation, he said, is the only right choice for the world’s two largest economies.

“The problems in today’s China-US relationship should not be seen as permanent and insurmountable ones.

“The way to fix them is to further develop our relations and resolve problems in a sensible and proper manner through coordination and consultation,” he said.

US Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said global prosperity and opportunity depend on the success of Sino-US relations.

“The way to peace and understanding is through engagement, understanding culture and understanding the bridge the Chinese-American community is creating,” he said. — China Daily/Asia News Network