With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) continuously hitting headlines, the “Road and Belt” Initiative is yet another milestone strategy proposed by China two years ago.
Questions like what is “One Belt One Road” Initiative; what does it include; what are the opportunities for Australia; how can the “One Belt One Road” Initiative be leveraged to bring mutually beneficial results have drawn much attention among both Australian and Chinese general public.
Invited by China Cultural Centre in Sydney, Prof. Wang Yuzhu, Director of the Centre for APEC and East-Asia Cooperation, China Academy of Social Sciences, arrived in Sydney to talk about the Initiative.
On 14th October, joined by Kerry Brown, Professor Wang expounded on the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and China-Australia ties at large.
During the lecture, Professor Wang firstly introduced the origin and development of the Initiative, explaining the core concept of “One Belt One Road”.
“The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks, and realize diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries”, he said.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is a systematic project, which should be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all, and efforts should be made to integrate the development strategies of the countries along the Belt and Road”, Professor Wang added.
Professor Wang also pointed out that: “the core concept of the Initiative should be achieved through regional cooperation and mutual development; China is open to all countries, and we look forward to their participation.”
The conversation between Wang and Kerry Brown also touched upon topics in regarding the benefits and opportunities that the Initiative would bring to Australia.
During Professor Wang’s stay in Sydney, he also attended the “One Belt One Road” Business Forum held on 15th October, exchanging ideas with Mr. Graham Fletcher, North Asia Division (NAD) First Assistant Secretary, DFAT, as well as other business delegates.
“Australia welcomes the ‘One Belt One Road’ Initiative”, said Mr Fletcher. He hoped that the projects to be “open, equal and transparent”, creating more opportunities for Australia.
Professor Wang also gave his thoughts on topics as “mechanism”, “political risks”, “security factors” and the “development of new energy”, which were concerned by the attendees.
Professor Wang will also give talks and lectures regarding the Initiative in Laos and Denmark after his stay in Sydney.