The Belt and The Road Should Be Taken to “Profit (Example) to Cooperate with Other Countries”

“The Belt and the Road” Initiative should use examples to plan the future direction. In accordance with the requirements, we should select the key areas, identify the key countries, focus areas and select key projects, and take the case examples well. It is the best that can be copied and promoted.

As we all know, “the Belt and the Road” Summit on May 14th this year has 29 countries in total. Here is a set of data: top leaders from 29 countries, top leaders from three international organisations, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the World Bank, and the Director General of the International Monetary Fund. There are also 140 delegates from all over the world. At the end, the United States also sent representatives to attend the summit. There are also 1500 formal official delegates. There is a forum for positioning this summit—it is the largest and highest level of home-host diplomacy which China has ever held since 1949.

Why can this summit have 29 countries among more than 200 countries in the world? Every country behind has landmark projects, which is called “convince people by examples”.

Let’s take Belarus as an example, China and Belarus Industrial Park, 91.2 k㎡; Kenya Montane Railway, Laos’s railway, and their infrastructures are interoperable. It has improved their own infrastructure conditions which will gradually increase the trading capacity of these countries and lead to mobility and convenience. It will certainly enhance the trade capacity of these countries. Why Spain, Greece and other countries
come here? This is because there is a project behind them.

Particularly worth mentioning is that the 15th country, Cambodia, with a population of 15 million. Cambodia’s West Harbor Special Economic Zone has a red bean group which is a privately-owned Chinese enterprise in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. It turned out to be a textile enterprise that makes clothes. What is the pain point? The textile industry was above all labour-intensive but with rising labour costs.

Therefore, the Red beans Group went to Cambodia ten years ago because the country’s population was 15 million and 70% of the population were young people under the age of 30, and the labor cost was very cheap. The average salary of civil servants is 120 USD per month and the average young person is 70 USD.

In order to solve the labour cost, Red bean Group has entered the market of Cambodia, but later they found more than one company like Red bean, he had to set up a The West Harbor District to gradually help other businesses to solve their characteristics. As a result, the park is also very popular in the local area.

Economy and culture will always be a pair of twins and have the mutual influence. If economy is not so good, then the aesthetics and science would not exist at all. Ten years ago in West Harbor Special Administrative Region, when Chinese enterprises just opened in the park, they will not open an umbrella under heavy rain.

They will not run just a little quick, and what they did was just go forward in rain step by step. It demonstrates that if there is the bad economy, there is no aesthetics. Ten years later, the person in charge told me that now it rains again, young people wear colorful clothes to enter the park. In addition, these young people in the park were brought to Wuxi for training. Therefore, this enterprise is also popular in the local context.

Therefore, we cannot always say that we have the advantage. Many areas in China are constantly doing some researches. Firstly, we have historical advantages. We must think about how to turn advantages into practical achievements and use case stories. Therefore, each city has its own business case.

To take Cambodia as an example, many people in the “the Belt and the Road” now think that it is manufacturing cooperation. This is a misunderstanding that must be clarified. The “the Belt and the Road” Initiative also includes industrial education cooperation and agricultural industry cooperation as well. Since energy resources are always digging less while cultural and scientific resources are digging more and more.

Let’s think about this. Cambodia, although it is a tropical country, it still needs 400 million USD for pork import, 200 million USD for wedding flowers, and 200 million USD for vegetable import. Thai rice is good, Vietnam rice is also good, in fact, Cambodia rice is better.

Cambodia rice won the first prize in the international gold medal rice. However, the rice was immediately collected by Thailand and Vietnam as appeared on the market. So this country has good resources but has no brands at all. So now some Chinese enterprises not only come to sell and buy things locally, but also help the country cultivate their own national brand.

Therefore, along “the Belt and the Road” reflects that at that time China was the most powerful one to rely through thousands of years. We should followed by the economic dividend, context, business veins and as well as the twin engine of the Belt and the Road. We should also implement in the city, and implement of our enterprise. It is necessary to achieve that we initially proposed the six directional goals: go out, go in, go up, Industrialisation, branding, and internationalisation.

(Zhao Lei, Professor, Institute of International Strategic Studies, Party School of the CPC Central Committee, Director of International Relations Research Office)