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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Special Report
A modern new world along a historical route
    2017-September-5  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

FOR centuries, the ancient Silk Road played a key role in commercial and cultural exchange among the countries along its route. Today, entrepreneurs are devoting themselves to rejuvenating the historical route and building a new world.

Stronger trade links

More than 1,000 years ago, Emperor Xuanzong of China’s Tang Dynasty (618 -907) sent special envoys and fast horses to southern China thousands of miles away from the capital to get freshly picked lychees for his favorite concubine, sacrificing many horses and envoys during the exhausting long trip.

Now even for fresh fruits tens of thousands miles away, say fresh cherries from Chile in South America, they can easily “fly” into Chinese supermarkets for ordinary people to enjoy thanks to the current convenient and fast trade routes.

And in fact, China has now become the largest export destination for Chilean cherries. Data from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association shows that during the last cherry export season, over 80 percent of the country’s cherries were exported to China.

Chilean cherry planters and traders have made huge endeavors to ensure the fresh, crisp texture of cherries for Chinese customers. For example, freshly picked cherries are transported to China by plane to ensure good quality.

“I hope direct flights between China and Chile will be opened in the near future, so that Chile’s cherries will be able to arrive in China sooner and at a lower cost,” said Ricardo Vial, trade manager of the Rucaray Corporation, a large-scale Chilean cherry producer.

Poland is the world’s third largest apple producing country. In 2014, the Russian government imposed a ban on food imports from the European Union and the United States in retaliation for their sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, causing Poland’s apple exports to plunge.

“We launched a three-year apple promotion project focused on the Chinese market, bringing new hope for fruit farmers,” said Miroslaw Maliszewski, principal of the Polish Fruit Growers Association.

Closer cooperation

In December 1992, China’s Shougang Group bid for 98.4 percent of Peruvian Iron Ore Corporation’s stocks and the right to tap, explore and run the mineral resources of its mineral fields.

Shougang headquarters founded Shougang Hierro Peru S.A.A., a mining company, which extracts, processes and sells iron ore in Peru.

The company’s entrepreneurial path in the South American country with a different language and environment from China has been bumpy with obstacles, both big and small.

“During the past 24 years, Shougang Group has invested nearly US$1.5 billion in equipment replacement, technology transformation, environmental governance, living quarters and project expansion. Its output has surged from less than 3 million tons in 1992 to 11.12 million tons in 2015,” said Kong Aimin, general manager of Shougang Hierro Peru S.A.A.

In addition to founding new companies abroad, a large number of Chinese corporations have deepened their cooperation with local companies overseas.

Zhejiang RIFA Digital Precision Machinery Company is a manufacturer of high-end precision machine tools with annual sales exceeding 1 billion yuan (US$ 153 million).

In 2014 and 2015, it bought out Italian corporations MCM and Colgar, which were struggling during the economic crisis in Italy.

The two Italian companies are world-leading machine tool manufacturers, whose customers include renowned airplane manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing and industrial giants General Electrics and Siemens.

“Improving technology, boosting development and expanding markets are important for Chinese companies in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. The mergers met the needs of both Chinese and Italian corporations,” said Wang Benshan, chairman of Zhejiang RIFA Digital Precision Machinery Company.

“MCM and Colgar boast high-quality products and good word of mouth. Chinese companies help the Italian companies out of their financial difficulties and expand market shares, increased taxes and stimulated employment. This is win-win cooperation,” said Maria Catrina Wono, deputy mayor of Cornaredo, where Colgar is based.

Smoother pasageway linking East and West

Kazakhstan was an important hub on the ancient Silk Road. The city of Khorgos is located in China, on the border of China and Kazakhstan. It serves as China’s youngest border city as well as part of the first cross-border trade area between China and Kazakhstan.

In December 2014, the Khorgos-Eastern Gate special economic zone in Kazakhstan, a significant logistics center, was officially put into use.

Some foreign enterprises have gradually settled down in the special zone and with a soaring population and schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other supporting public facilities having been built, a brand new town is appearing. “Many young Kazakh people have come to the special zone, some even giving up their jobs in big cities, because they think highly of the future potential and vitality here,” said Zaslan, investment director of the special economic zone.

“The China-Kazakstan Khorgos Frontier International Cooperation Center is the busiest among the three border areas,” said transport driver Juura.

Spanning Chinese and Kazakh territory, the center is 5.28 square km in size. With special access linking the two countries, a constant stream of Chinese and Kazakh customers come here to buy Chinese commodities.

“My customers are merchants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and many other countries,” said Zhang Wei, who sells bed linen at the center’s Yiwu International Shopping Mall.

Khorgos has become an important nod to opening up to the West. Central Asia freight trains and China-Europe trains have linked up Khorgos with the outside world.

Once the new highway in Kazakhstan linking western China and western Europe is complete, travel time will be reduced from 40 days by sea to 10 days by land. (Xinhua)

Keywords on Belt and Road Initiative

Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative — China’s proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in cooperation with related countries — was unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visits to Central and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013.

The initiative focuses on promoting policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties through extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, with the goal of bringing benefits to all.

By the end of 2016 over 100 countries and international and regional organizations had expressed an interest in participating, and more than 40 of them had signed cooperation agreements with China.

Spirit of the Silk Road

Throughout the millennia, interaction along this route has shaped the Silk Road spirit, which is embodied in solidarity and mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, inclusiveness, a disposition to learn from each other, and cooperation in finding win-win solutions.

Five-pronged Approach

In his speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University on Sept. 7, 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt by promoting policy coordination, road connectivity, unimpeded trade, currency convertibility, and closer people-to-people ties.(Xinhua)

A photo taken on Oct. 17, 2015 shows an aerial view of the port in Beihai, southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Beihai, starting point of China’s ancient marine silk road, has played an important role in China’s foreign trade for over 2,000 years. To revitalize economic prosperity, Beihai is playing catch-up by joining the movement behind the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road to make its port an export channel for west China and a star of the modern version of the maritime Silk Road. Xinhua

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