President Xi Jinping suggested building the New Silk Road Belt on 7 September 2013 in his speech at Nazarbayev University during his visit to Kazakhstan. Then he suggested building a new Maritime Silk Road on 3 October 2013 in his speech in the Indonesian Parliament during his visit to Indonesia. The “One Belt and One Road” initiative is a major and strategic one. In the last three decades, East Asia has been the most dynamic and fastest growing region in the world. East Asia’s growth was usually twice and more of global growth rate. South Asia is catching up but Central Asia lags behind. East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia are economically highly complementary. The “One Belt and One Road” initiative is aimed at combining East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia and unleashing a growth potential for the benefit of Asia and rest of the world.
Asia is presented with a wonderful opportunity to rise up. Though there are some differences among Asian countries with regard to territorial disputes in East China Sea and South China Sea, we should not lose sight of the fact that the common interests among East Asian countries far outweigh their differences. The “One Belt and One Road” initiative will enable Asian countries to develop mutually beneficial projects of cooperation. Consequently, their common ground will expand and common interests will increase. That will be a wonderful contribution to stability and prosperity in Asia. This is good news not only for Asian countries but for the rest of the world.
About the Speaker:
Ambassador Wu is currently Vice Chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, Senior Research Fellow of the Counselors’ office of the State Council of China, Professor of the China Foreign Affairs University, Member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Committee of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Member and Vice President of the European Academy of Sciences, and Honorary President of the International Bureau of Exhibitions (BIE).
From 2003-2008, Ambassador Wu served as President of China Foreign Affairs University, Executive Vice President of China National Association for International Studies, Vice Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee and Spokesman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Earlier, he served as China’s Ambassador to France (1998-2003); to the United Nations Office in Geneva and to other international organizations in Switzerland (1996-98); and to the Netherlands (1994-95). Before that, he was Director General of the Information Department and Spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry (1991-1994), deputy chief at China’s embassy in Belgium and its mission to the European Community in Brussels (1989-90), and Counselor at China’s mission to the United Nations in New York (1985-89).
From 2003-2007, Ambassador Wu served as President of International Bureau of Expositions (BIE), making him the first Asian to take up the post.
Ambassador Wu was born in 1939. He graduated from the Department of French at Beijing Foreign Studies University and from 1965 to 1971 interpreted many times for Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. In 1971, he became a member of China’s first delegation to the United Nations.
He was awarded by French President Jacques Chirac the honor of Knight of the French Legion of Honor in 2003.