Guests attend the launch ceremony of the International Silk Road Think Tank Association in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Feb 23, 2016. [Photo by He Na / China Daily]
The International Silk Road Think Tank Association was launched on Feb 23 in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to provide sustained intellectual support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The initiative refers to the proposal by President Xi Jinping to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Extensive exchanges between think tanks along the old trade routes will deepen people’s understanding of the development initiative and avoid misunderstandings between countries, which have different policies and concerns, said Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.
So far, 34 countries have signed memorandums of cooperation or other cooperative agreements with China.
“China vowed to enhance the dialogue and cooperation of think tanks along the trade routes and provide more chances for exchanges,” Guo said at an association conference.
The conference attracted about 60 foreign delegates, including former top leaders of the countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, directors of major think tanks and research centers and scholars and experts.
Roza Otunbayeva, former president of Kyrgyzstan, attached great importance to international think tank cooperation.
“Think tanks play positive roles in helping solve difficulties,” she said. “Research institutes and think tanks in Kyrgyzstan are willing to participate in the initiative research with think tanks from other countries.”
Alfred Gusenbauer, former chancellor of Austria, said the state of the world’s economy shows the initiative was proposed at just the right time. Its success will help countries along the trade routes find economic growth that is not limited to one single channel, he said.
Tasked with connection, innovation and sustainable development, the conference was sponsored by the China Center for Contemporary World Studies, the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Fudan University.