Yearender: Belt and Road Initiative -- road to change

Updated 2016-12-23 16:05:10 Xinhua
File photo taken on July 18, 2013 shows the first direct cargo train leaving from Zhengzhou to Europe at the railway container center in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province.

File photo taken on July 18, 2013 shows the first direct cargo train leaving from Zhengzhou to Europe at the railway container center in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province.

After three years of development, the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 has gradually and steadily brought change to peoples and countries along the ancient trade route, defying expectations of many international observers who have regarded it as a mere extension of Chinese diplomacy.

With more than 100 participants and advocates so far, including countries and international organizations, the initiative has now become a road to a happier life, their dreams and regional prosperity for local people along the route.

ROAD TO HAPPIER LIFE

As a master plan to integrate 65 countries from East Asia to Western Europe, China's Belt and Road Initiative is poised to improve the living standards of 4.4 billion people, more than half of the world's total population.

"No one knows what is waiting for us at the end of the road, but for all, I only wish the road will lead to happiness," Ma Yi, a Chinese construction worker working on roads in Laos, wrote on her blog.

As an employee of China's Yunnan Sunny Road & Bridge company, Ma has worked in this Southeast Asian country for five years and participated in several projects to improve Laos' infrastructure.

As Ma wishes, upgrading the No. 13 highway, the project conducted by her company, would bring the Lao people closer to a happier life.

The project, along with several other China-funded infrastructure projects in Laos, are part of cooperative programs within the framework of the initiative.

After the upgrade of the 81-km road, the travel time from Pakmong to Muang Xay will be shortened by over one hour. Villages along the road now have access to the power grid. Shops, restaurants, hotels and banks have been built, bringing more job opportunities for the local people.

With better roads, "we can plant more, earn more money and no longer have to worry that our produce may spoil in the fields before it ever makes it to the consumers," a local villager at Muang Xay surnamed Ketmane told Xinhua.

Infrastructure, an important aspect of cooperation under the initiative, not only brings faster transportation to the countries along the Belt and Road, but also offers them a chance to improve their technology.

"China is cutting-edge in the development of subway and railway transportation. It always has great things to share with Iran," said Siamak Ghasemi, a 36-year-old veteran worker in a Tehran-based factory under Tehran Wagon Manufacturing, a joint venture between Iran and China.

Sent to China twice for training, Ghasemi is quite aware of the technology transfer and localization of production in the process.

"At the very beginning, we imported from China; then we learned to assemble; now, with China's help, things are getting more localized that we have our own production line," Ghasemi told Xinhua.

ROAD TO DREAMS

For those who are actually involved in the projects under the framework, the initiative has been a road to their dreams.

When 30-year-old Nahla Emad decided to work in the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (SETC Zone), she did not envision the decision would change her life.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58November 19 2017 01:44:06

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16November 19 2017 01:44:06

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18November 19 2017 01:44:06

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords