(Nikkei: May 4, 2015 – p. 4)
By Cheng Yonghua, Chinese Ambassador to Japan
Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” projects, calling them a “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is aimed at fostering new growth engines in the global economy. It calls for building infrastructure to help develop China and Eurasian countries so they benefit from China’s development and China can also reap rewards from their development.
Demand for infrastructure investment in Asia is huge. It goes beyond the capacity of existing lending organizations. That is why Xi has proposed launching the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) along with the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. This has won the understanding of many countries, and 57 countries applied to become founding members of this financial scheme by April 15.
The AIIB is not designed to take the place of other international financial organizations. It is aimed at bringing the current international financial order to completion. China will proactively cooperate with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as it prepares to establish the AIIB and draws up management processes.
The “One Belt, One Road” initiative will lay a new foundation for cooperation between China and Japan. The two countries can work together to build financial and currency systems and promote infrastructure projects in Asia. We hope Japan will support China’s proposal.
China welcomes Japan’s participation in setting up the AIIB. We expect Japan to extend a helping hand to Asia’s economic development along with China, regardless of whether it joins the AIIB or not.
President Xi met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 22, following their previous summit held in November, showing a commitment to plowing a new political energy to improve bilateral ties in a sustainable fashion.
At the same time, it should be recognized that China-Japan relations still have fragile aspects. The two countries should stick to the spirit of four political documents including the China-Japan joint statement, observe the four-point common view that they agreed on in November, properly deal with important and sensitive issues, and ensure that the move in the right direction in developing bilateral ties.
The issue of historical perception concerns the political foundation of the bilateral ties and also affects Japan’s international reputation. We hope Japan will sincerely deal with issues that its Asian neighboring countries, especially war victims, are interested in, demonstrate a sincere attitude, deliver on its promises, look squarely at history for sincere soul-searching, and stay on a path toward peaceful development.
We paid close attention to what Prime Minister Abe said with regard to China during his recent trip to the U.S. China wants to stick to the path of peaceful development and develop a new major power relationship with the U.S. At the same time, we hope to partner with Japan [to promote] peaceful development. China, Japan and the U.S. should go beyond their “zero-sum” thinking and work together to proactively contribute to global and regional peace, stability, and prosperity.