China has unveiled the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in its Maritime Silk Road initiative in a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future together.
The plan consists two segments - One is centered on the Asian land mass and called the Silk Road Economic Belt; the other looks to the South China Sea, the South Pacific and Indian Ocean and is known as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Together, they go by “one belt, one road” to Chinese officials.
China will encourage local companies to issue bonds overseas to fund projects to create the 'one belt, one road', a plan to boost connectivity across Asia for which it has created a $40 billion fund, according to a framework agreement.
The so-called "One belt, One road" initiative to link Asia to Europe and Africa is the latest step by China to extend its global influence, even as it works to sign up more countries to its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The country's top diplomat State Councilor Yang Jiechi said the scheme was a "win win" for China and its neighbors in Asia and further afield and called for more countries to join.
China will not use the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road project as a geopolitical tool to manipulate neighboring countries, Jiechi said.
China is willing to put aside political disputes and focus on economic and humanities cooperation when it comes to ocean exploration, Yang said.
The modern Maritime Silk Road links China with Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, East African and some European economies via vital shipping routes such as the Malacca strait and the Red Sea.
"Asian nations need to build a deeper trust to share the benefit brought by the ocean," he said, adding China is willing to work with all countries, enterprises and organizations which share the same view.
The plan for the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, and the ministries of foreign affairs and commerce.