By Ding Gang Source: Global Times Published: 2017-10-18
Starting Saturday for three consecutive days, US Discovery Channel Asia began to air the documentary China: Time of Xi.
I caught the third episode titled All Aboard.
This episode focuses on how the Chinese dream aligns with the ideals held by the rest of the world. This new vision that China has brought to the world stage over the past five years is ushering in a new and exciting period for humanity.
During the past five years of Chinese President Xi Jinping`s leadership, we have seen the destiny of China and of the world converging. The world has been eager to know the impact of China`s rise on human civilization and the global economy and how this impact will affect the life and work of peoples all over the world.
Through many vivid stories, the documentary tells how China and the world are jointly developing, bringing the audience`s interest in China`s rise to the storyline.
The story in the third episode actually begins in Kenya. Many Western viewers can still remember the railway that British colonialists built a century ago. The railway was the "lifeblood" for the British Empire, but Kenyans believed it to be an "iron snake." While this iron snake enriched and strengthened the British Empire, it sucked the lifeblood out of Kenya as it became increasingly poor.
Today, the Kenyan people have a newly built high-speed train funded by Chinese companies. In parallel with the now dilapidated British-built line, this new route connects the coastal city of Mombasa with the capital city of Nairobi.
This new railway will certainly bring new vitality to Kenya and the region beyond. As shown in this episode of the documentary, the railway project is a good example of a perfect combination between infrastructure and technical training. Along its route it connects all key economic development zones and lays in its wake the foundation for the industrialization of a booming developing economy.
From Kenya to Italy, the episode takes the viewers to Venice, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road. The film calls Venice "Shanghai 500 years ago," outlining the dramatic developmental change that Shanghai and the rest of China have undergone over the recent centuries.
Venice, an ancient European town which prospered thanks to the Silk Road 500 years ago, is reviving its ports via China`s Belt and Road initiative. In the story, you learn how Venice is building new ports with Chinese investment, and you can see the dynamism and extent of the Belt and Road initiative.
We then see a freight train that is running across the Eurasian continent bring two ordinary families from Spain and the Chinese city of Yiwu together. We witness how Spain`s famous high-quality wines are brought into the Chinese market.
This story shows that it is the drive for common prosperity that unites us all. The freight trains from China to Europe not only carry dreams of peaceful development, but also aspirations for cooperation, which was rarely seen in the past 500 years.
The last part of the episode features Chinese acupuncture and the Chinese lute. They remind the audience of the energetic Chinese civilization. It implies that the notion of the community of shared destiny raised by Xi not only means that China and the world have begun to communicate and integrate with a new approach that completely differs from that of the West, but also embarks on a new process in which Chinese civilization makes great contributions to world civilization.
As famous British historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee once said, if the Communist Party of China can blaze a new path in its social and economic strategies, then it can prove its capacity to endow a gift on China and the world.
The author is a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.