‘One Belt, One Road’ could revitalize trade in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-20 0:28:02

Editor's Note:

The "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a blueprint for greater regional cooperation and integration through an infrastructure network connecting all sub-regions in Asia and between Asia, Europe and Africa, is viewed as a mega project that will generate tremendous business opportunities. How can regions like Taiwan and Hong Kong participate in the implementation of the initiative? Over 20 media heavyweights from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao convened recently in Xiamen, Fujian Province at the first Cross-Straits Media Forum to discuss how regions across the Straits could benefit from the initiative.

Liu Beixian, former editor-in-chief of China News Service

The "One Belt, One Road" initiative is a great project that will bring profound changes to the world's trade, economic and political pattern as well as transform the old unfair and outdated global order. It's a superb project. Take the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). We didn't expect that so many countries would become founding members. However, they thronged to join, which illuminates the attractive nature of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

One of the bottlenecks that confine the development of many countries and regions in Asia is the lack of infrastructure. For one thing, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative is a grand vision under the globalization that will help countries in need to develop infrastructure and improve livelihood; for another, countries chose to participate in the AIIB as they have seen the tremendous business opportunities offered by the initiative. Therefore, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative will lead to a win-win result.

Huang Ching-lung, president of the Taipei-based Want Daily

There have been heated discussions over the "One Belt, One Road" initiative in Taiwan.

The mainland is carrying forward the initiative at amazing speed. President Xi Jinping came up with the proposal in the fall of 2013 during his visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia. In March, the mainland announced three new free trade zones (FTZ) 18 months after the first FTZ was unveiled in the financial hub of Shanghai. On June 29, the founding charter of the AIIB was signed in Beijing.

In contrast, Taiwan in April 2013 has unveiled a draft for the establishment of free trade demonstration zones, but it hasn't been passed by the legislature.

The mainland's four FTZs, all located in the coastal areas, are bound to be important pivots of the 21st century maritime Silk Road. If Taiwan's free trade demonstration zones could link up with the mainland's FTZs, they will be likely to become engines of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. 

Taiwan enterprises are dwelling on what role they could play in the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. There should be more discussions over the question.

Wang Ming-yi, deputy chief representative of Beijing office, Want Want China Holding Limited

According to the AIIB charter signed in late June, Taiwan is unlikely to become a founding member. It's therefore become particularly important as to when and how Taiwan might participate in this multilateral institution. The AIIB is an important part of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative and the mainland inevitably has some diplomatic considerations to lead the AIIB. Taiwan understands this well.

However, as Taiwan is an important trading partner of the mainland, and given the current close interactions between the two, how to continue the good cooperative momentum deserves attention.

Xiamen is an important investment destination of Taiwanese investors. In the past 30 years, both sides have enjoyed the dividends of peace. Taiwan will hold its 2016 general election half a year later. Even if big changes take place, we shouldn't allow it to affect the current peace process that benefits both sides.

Ho Leong-leong, commentator of the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV

Whether the "One Belt, One Road" initiative will have an impact on Hong Kong is also a topic of hot discussions in the city.

Hong Kong in the past was viewed as a window of opening-up and capital from Hong Kong had played an important role in the country's reform and opening-up. But over the 18 years since Hong Kong's return to China, the city ha=s failed to realize a successful economic transformation.

Hong Kong hasn't found a sustainable development path that tallies with its own situation. It is losing its advantages.

Plagued by divided politics and an unsuccessful economic transformation, the Hong Kong public is looking for opportunities that the "One Belt, One Road" initiative can bring to the city. Hong Kong hopes the AIIB could establish a branch in the city. With abundant talent and experience in finance and free trade, Hong Kong hopes to use the "One Belt, One Road" initiative to revitalize the city.  

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