Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
In 2013, President Xi Jinping raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (hereinafter referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative). In 2015, China issued The Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which suggests promoting policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, adhering to the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in propelling the Belt and Road construction. This proposal has garnered widespread attention and support from the international community.
With a view to synchronizing development plans and promoting joint actions amongst countries along the Maritime Silk Road, setting up the all-dimensional, multi-tiered and broad-scoped Blue Partnership, jointly protecting and sustainably utilizing marine resources to achieve harmony between man and the ocean for common development and enhancement of marine welfare, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) hereby issue The Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (hereinafter referred to as the Vision) to build a peaceful and prosperous 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
The oceans comprise the largest ecosystem on earth, contributing valuable assets for human survival and a common arena for sustainable development. As globalization and regional economic integration progress, oceans have become a foundation and bridge for market and technological cooperation and for information sharing. Developing the blue economy has become an international consensus, ushering in a new era of increased focus and dependence upon maritime cooperation and development. As the saying goes, “Alone, we go faster; together, we go further.” Conforming with the prevailing trend of development, openness and cooperation, strengthening maritime cooperation contributes to closer links between world economies, deeper mutually beneficial cooperation, and broader space for development. Enhancing maritime cooperation also enables various countries to jointly tackle challenges and crises, thus promoting regional peace and stability.
China advocates the Silk Road Spirit - “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, and exerts efforts to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the field of coasts and oceans. China is willing to work closely with countries along the Road, engage in all-dimensional and broad-scoped maritime cooperation and build open and inclusive cooperation platforms, and establish a constructive and pragmatic Blue Partnership to forge a “blue engine” for sustainable development.
Shelving differences and building consensus. We call for efforts to uphold the existing international ocean order, and to respect diversified concepts of ocean development in the countries along the Road. Concerns of all parties involved will be accommodated, differences bridged, common ground sought and consensus achieved.
Openness, cooperation and inclusive development. We advocate further opening up the market, improving the investment environment, eliminating trade barriers and facilitating trade and investment. Mutual political trust will be sought, inter-civilizational dialogue strengthened, and inclusive development and harmonious coexistence promoted.
Market-based operation and multi-stakeholder participation. We abide by market rules and international norms, giving play to the primary role of enterprises. We encourage the creation of stakeholder partnerships and promote the broad participation of governments, international organizations, civil society, and industrial and commercial sectors in ocean cooperation.
Joint development and benefits sharing. We respect the will of the countries along the Road, take into account the interests of all parties and give play to the comparative strengths of each. We will plan together, develop together and share the fruits of cooperation. Together, we will help developing countries eradicate poverty and foster a community of shared interests.
Leveraging the ocean as the basis for enhancing common welfare, with the theme of sharing a blue space and developing the blue economy, China encourages countries along the Road to align their strategies, further all-around and pragmatic cooperation, and to jointly build unobstructed, safe and efficient maritime transport channels. Together, we will build platforms for maritime cooperation and develop the Blue Partnership, pursuing a path of harmony between man and the ocean, characterized by green development, ocean-based prosperity, maritime security, innovative growth and collaborative governance.
In line with the priorities of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China will deepen ocean cooperation by fostering closer ties with countries along the Road, supported by the coastal economic belt in China. Ocean cooperation will focus on building the China-Indian Ocean-Africa- Mediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage, by linking the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, running westward from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and connecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC). Efforts will also be made to jointly build the blue economic passage of China-Oceania-South Pacific, travelling southward from the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean. Another blue economic passage is also envisioned leading up to Europe via the Arctic Ocean.