As British Prime Minister Theresa May continues her official visit to China, academics and high-profile politicians are debating the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative at the University of Cambridge. During the forum, a lecture given by Dr Danilo Türk - Slovenian diplomat, Professor of International Law, former President of Slovenia (2007 to 2012), former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, and Non-resident senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY).
The Belt and Road Forum is held at Jesus College, University of Cambridge from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2018.
The forum was organized by the Cambridge Oriental Culture Association, Jesus College Intellectual Forum and Cambridge One Belt One Road Center.
As described by Dr Türk, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is: "a long term policy orientation that is intensely aware of the realities of geography and history and seeks to offer new prospects of development to specific, geographically defined areas along the New Silk Road." Covering counties across the globe, the BRI focuses on connectivity and cooperation across the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road. Dr Türk noted: "It is a vision of externalization of China’s path of development, something that responds as much to the Chinese domestic needs as it responds to her needs for a new global strategy."
Dr Türk gives a lecture entitled "Belt and Road Initiative: The Global and European Perspectives".
Moving from China`s success in lifting more than 800 million people from poverty, and a focus on a "new era" of China as it continues to grow and prosper, Dr Türk`s lecture also covered the changing global and political environment, multiple and competing versions of modernity and environmental and economic management.
Dr Türk concluded his lecture by stating: "Building bridges is a good metaphor in politics in general and international relations in particular. There is no surplus of bridges in our world. We clearly need a few more. The Belt and Road Initiative and its central idea – connectivity – comes close to the building of bridges in its technical meaning, as an exercise of construction. And as any construction, bridge building must observe the relevant technical standards, the right choice of location, the right choice of material and, above all, sophisticated engineering. All this is needed in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. If these requirements are met – and there is no reason why they should not be – then the bridge building of the Belt and Road Initiative can help in building stability and peace in this century."