Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Belt and Road Initiative

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This remarkable trade network, unprecedented in scale and potential, now promises to stimulate

not only trade and commerce across Eurasia and Africa, but also to contribute to cultural

understanding and peaceful development.

Despite the magnitude of this project, it is widely underreported in Western media.

The Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) refers to the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the

Maritime Silk Road a network of rail and sea connections that has the potential to

link Asia, Africa and Europe into the largest trading block on earth.

It offers the very real opportunity to increase the collective prosperity for all who partner

in this visionary enterprise.

The BRI was officially announced in the autumn of 2013 during President Xi Jinping's visits

to Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

Even more remarkable than the visionary proclamation is the fact that within a five year period,

much of the vision has already become a reality, with planning, engineering and construction

completed at a pace that could only be dreamed of in most nations.

By February 2019, already 14 000 trainloads of trade goods had passed between partners.

Ports and pipelines are in place allowing strategic supplies to bypass the primary shipping

lanes in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca if a foreign power were to attempt

closing either of those routes, as was threatened as late as February 2013.

The BRI aims to eventually link up to 65 countries, accounting for at least 30% of the worlds

GDP, 62 % of global population and 75% of known energy reserves.

In a very real way the Belt and Road is not dissimilar from the vision expressed by Winston

Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the development of the Atlantic Charter in 1941.

The Charter laid out a future world order, emphasizing that

and to reduce the threat of war,

like the United Nations.

Economic development would be supported through agencies that became known as the International

Monetary Fund and World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.

Rules would be set to ensure fairness and opportunity for all to prosper, making war

undesirable.

The current leadership of the worlds biggest power is undoing the agencies and institutions

resulting from the Atlantic Charter, perhaps forgetting that the vision of Churchill and

Roosevelt resulted in the greatest period of global prosperity and security the world

has ever known, and also enriched the United States of America.

Now trade wars and tariffs have replaced the concept of freer trade, creating the present

economic instability.

China has offered a solution, one that has the potential to create a trade network in

agricultural and manufactured goods, and a flow of raw materials that will be to the

long term advantage to all.

Europe especially stands to benefit.

Recently European nations, as well as those of South and Central Asia, and Africa have

begun to embrace and agree to participate in the Belt and Road concept, seeing the potential

of flow of investment, as well as providing markets for their agricultural and manufactured

goods.

Given continued harsh rhetoric on trade coming from Washington, more and more African and

Eurasian nations are seeing the potential of this massive intercontinental network.

Recognizing the ancient Chinese cultural preference of mutually beneficial partnerships, rather

than the current western proclivity to see only competition, will prove financially and

socially more beneficial than talk of trade barriers.

Peaceful partnerships with well-defined rules will always provide greater benefit and pay

bigger dividends than any other approach.

What we are witnessing is a shift from more than two and a half centuries of anglo-american

dominance over trade relations to an eastern led initiativewhich will likely result in

a future massive global trading relation fostering growth of industry and resource development

and greatly enhance trading relationships with peoples of many cultures.

I'm Stuart Wachowicz for Tomorrow's World Viewpoint

The Description of The Belt and Road Initiative