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Silk Road to green development March 16, 2018

Silk Road to green development

Environmental protection is a common concern of humanity. Addressing the Legislative Chamber of the Uzbek Supreme Assembly on June 22, 2016, President Xi Jinping emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation in environmental and ecological protection, so as to build a Silk Road to green development. This idea had previously been affirmed by the Chinese government in a white paper entitled Joining Hands to Build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road – Vision and Actions. The document highlights the importance of a green, low-carbon approach to building and operating infrastructure, taking into full account the imperative to mitigate the impact of climate change. It encourages joint efforts to build a Silk Road to green development by integrating ecological considerations into trade and investment strategies, and expanding cooperation in protecting the environment and biodiversity and addressing climate change. Contributing to the goal of sustainable development, and informed by the concept of environmentally friendly development, the Silk Road to green development initiative calls for a careful balance between economic growth and environmental protection, with due consideration given to the ecological carrying capacity of the countries concerned. Ecological protection, prevention and control of desertification, and clean energy, among others, already feature prominently in strategic planning exercises for implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. The prospects for a Silk Road to green development look bright.