Friday, April 14, 2017

China’s Belt & Road to drive 2nd-generation Globalization

China’s Belt & Road to drive 2nd-generation Globalization By Francis C W Fung, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame; Director General of the World Harmony Organization, based in San Francisco, CA, US America initiated the 20th Century world trade globalization. But the 2008 world financial crisis caused by the U.S. toxic asset collapse and its worldwide devastating spread signaled the end of the good days of world trade globalization of the 20th Century. Seven years later world major economies in the world are still mired in great recession with the exception of China. The whole world is looking for new economic or technology breakthroughs to bail the world economy out of its quagmire. China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, which includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road came at the right time. The Belt and Road Initiative, according to President Xi, is all about win-win cooperation and community of common destiny. Xi emphasized the Initiative is not just for China, but it is a world symphony. It will be built by mutual consultation, mutual cooperation and for mutual benefit. This Intiative might be seen as the driving force for the wave of the second globalization, which might bring about the 21st century infrastructure revolution and transportation revolution. The initiative is to launch modern transportation and communication infrastructure to connect Asia through Central Asia to Europe and from South East Asia through Indian Ocean to Middle East and finally Africa. This vast “Belt and Road” initiative can advance commerce, communication, cultural and technology exchange, people-to-people contact all over the world to benefit human progress in the brave 21st century. The resulting world connectivity will bring trade globalization to another height far exceeding the 20th century because this time the connectivity expands to a far greater world. This time we may experience mutual development and prosperity like no other time in history before. It will not only connect transportation, communication, culture, etc., but most of all, it will connect the hearts and minds of the people along the Belt and Road, and even beyond, and might lead to world harmony in the long run. Finally the ancient Chinese dream of “Shi Jie Da Tong (Great harmony over all the world)” might become a reality in the 21st century.

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