"Belt and Road" are undoubtedly among the top media buzzwords of 2017, but what are their implications for the youth around the world? Scholars and students discuss this at ZJU.
The International Youth Forum on the Belt and Road was held at ZJU’s Zhijiang campus on December 28-29. The forum aims to inspire innovative ideas among global youth regarding the Belt and Road Initiative. The event attracted more than 80 international students, entrepreneurs and professors from over 20 countries, representing such renowned universities as the University of Oxford, Tulane University, UCLA, Tsinghua University and Korea University.
The forum was jointly organized by the Academy of International Strategy and Law (AISL) at ZJU and the International Academy of the Belt and Road (IABR) in Hong Kong. Other co-organizers include ZJU’s Guanghua Law School, the Research Center of Regional Coordinated Development and Zhejiang University Press.
At the opening ceremony, AISL President Professor WANG Guiguo delivered a keynote address. From the perspective of national strategy, Professor WANG analysed the current opportunities and challenges concerning China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He encouraged young students to exchange ideas and actively participate in global and national governance through the BRI platform.
Mr. SUN Jungong, vice president of Alibaba and research fellow of AISL, said it was cultural and emotional bonds that drew young people from different countries to gather at ZJU. He suggested the students explore various issues that occur during the process of BRI, such as trade environment, legal risks, and intellecutual property. He emphasized the importance of finding a new path for developing countries to share the joy and fruits of economic globalization.
As a major highlight of the forum, a new book titled “The Belt and Road Initiative and its Oppurtunities for the Youth” was launched. The book was completed by WANG Chenxi (editor-in-chief), a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as other five authors from Republic of Montenegro, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and the Czech Republic. A publication agreement was subsequently signed between Zhejiang Univesity Press and the authors regarding the forthcoming book Young Belt and Road: oppurtunities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Besides, AISL signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center to jointly commit themselves to disseminating Chinese mediation culture and nurturing international mediation talent.
In the following sessions, the participanting students made presentations on various topics on political, economic, cultural, educational and legal issues pertaining to the Belt and Road Initiative. They shared diverse perspectives and had a truly international discussion. As a crucial outcome of this forum, student representatives, as independent participants of the forum, jointly released Young Belt and Road Initiative in support of the increasing efforts by the international community to facilitate exchange and cooperation among the youth.
Presiding over the closing ceremony, Professor ZHAO Jun, vice dean of Guanghua Law School, gave a summary of the forum. He expressed his gratitude to the organizers and shared his outlook for the next International Youth Forum on the Belt and Road.
The Belt and Road Initiative (the Silk Road Economic Belt plus the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road) is a development strategy first proposed in 2013 by China's president XI Jinping. The Initiative focuses on connectivity and cooperation primarily between Eurasian countries.
HONG Jiaying, Foreign Affairs Secretary at Guanghua Law School
ZHONG Yuan, Secretary, Center for Education & Teaching at Guanghua Law School