Damascus, SANA- The Belt and Road Initiative is an important Chinese economic development project that aims to develop and establish land and sea trade corridors linking more than 150 countries, and to enhance cooperation between them in various fields, which establishes a new phase that puts an end to the hegemony of the US and its Western allies over the world’s capabilities and the theft of people’s resources. As the initiative establishes a multipolar world based on equality and respect for the mutual interests of all peoples.
The One Belt One Road (OBOR), the abbreviation for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century, was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of strengthening trade and economic ties between Asia, Europe and Africa, through the construction of railway networks, oil and gas pipelines, electric power lines, telecommunications and maritime infrastructure, and relaunching the ancient Silk Road.
The initiative is divided into two branches: the first one is the Silk Road Economic Belt, which aims to link China with Europe, passing through South Asia and Central Asia, and the second one is the Maritime Silk Road, which aims to link China with Europe, passing through Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region, which opens a new chapter in international cooperation with the aim of reaching a brighter future.
China established an investment fund with a capital estimated at billions USD to finance these projects and assist developing countries and international institutions in the Silk Road countries.
Since presenting the initiative, the Chinese President has called for building a “community of shared future for mankind” based on his country’s role and responsibility in building a unified world.
The initiative has been widely welcomed internationally and has so far been joined by more than 150 countries, including Syria, as well as more than 30 international organizations, as part of international efforts to establish international multilateral platforms, such as the UN, The G-20, BRICS group, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to form a more just and democratic world order in the face of US arrogance.
Syria has been an important destination on the Silk Road since ancient times, through which Chinese products such as silk and porcelain were sold to West Asia. Communication between it and China dates back to a thousand years ago, as Palmyra was an important commercial center and a link between the East and the West, making China and Syria two natural partners in building the “Belt and Road” initiative, in addition to the existence of a solid foundation and promising prospects for cooperation between the two countries, according to the historical ties of friendship and the complete compatibility between the “Belt and Road” initiative and President Bashar al-Assad’s strategy on (turning towards the East).
On July 17, 2021, President al-Assad discussed with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Syria’s participation in the “Belt and Road” initiative, and His Excellency stressed that China is a strong country, and has a large and important position on the international arena, and Syria looks forward to expanding areas of cooperation with it at various levels, while the Chinese Foreign Minister noted the importance of Syria’s participation in the initiative , in view of its location and important regional role, stressing his country’s continued support for Syria in its war against terrorism and confronting the Western blockade and sanctions imposed on it.
On November 5, 2021, President Al-Assad affirmed, during a phone call with President Xi Jinping, Syria’s keenness to develop the relationship between the two countries, and to join the “Belt and Road” initiative, which constitutes a path for economy and development, and a new way in which countries deal with each other in order to link the common destiny of mankind. While the Chinese President stressed that the friendship between his country and Syria is deep- rooted historically, welcoming Syria’s participation in the initiative.
On January 12, 2022, Syria and China signed a memorandum of understanding within the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative, according to which Syria joined the initiative, which helps open broad horizons of cooperation between the two countries, and with a number of partner countries in the initiative in several fields, including the exchange of goods, technology, capital and stimulating the movement of individuals, in addition to cultural exchange.
On April 29, 2023, during his meeting with Chinese Special Envoy to the Middle East Zhai Jun, President al-Assad stressed the importance of the “Belt and Road” initiative in achieving development and economic cooperation, explaining that since the confrontation has always been primarily economic, liberation from the restriction of dealing with the dollar has become necessary, and that the BRICS countries can play a leading role in this field, in addition to the option of adopting the Chinese yuan in commercial transactions between countries, while the Chinese official indicated that his country views relations with Syria from a strategic perspective, and within a comprehensive vision for the region.
During the past ten years, the “Belt and Road” initiative has achieved fruitful results, attracting more than three-quarters of the world’s countries to join it, establishing more than 3,000 cooperative projects, stimulating investment of about one trillion US dollars, and creating 420,000 job opportunities for countries located along the road. These achievements prove that the “Belt and Road” benefits all countries and contributes to establishing security and peace throughout the world.
Nisreen / Bushra / Baraa