Interview: Belt and Road Initiative to embody Eurasia era: S.Korean chief delegate

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-13 15:42:32|Editor: Hou Qiang
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SEOUL, May 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korean chief delegate, who will head the new government's delegation to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14-15 in Beijing, said the initiative will embody a Eurasia era.

"The Belt and Road Initiative will embody a Eurasia era," Rep. Park Byeong-seug of the ruling Minjoo Party said in a written interview with Xinhua on Saturday.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by China in 2013, is a great initiative for prosperity in the Eurasian continent, and is a concrete measure to embody China's dream," said Park.

Park said the road to the initiative will be completed only when it is connected to the Korean Peninsula located in the easternmost part of the Eurasian continent.

The initiative, Park said, will positively contribute not only to peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia, but also to building an economic community of Northeast Asia.

The new government was launched earlier this week as President Moon Jae-in won a landslide victory in the first presidential by-election of South Korea, which was caused by the impeachment of his predecessor.

The Moon government, the chief delegate said, will "actively participate in this grand project," referring to the Belt and Road Initiative.

For South Korea's active participation, there is an obstacle that South Korea must overcome and that is a severed link in Eurasia, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Park said.

On his campaign trail, President Moon stressed the importance of a dialogue with the DPRK for the denuclearized Korean Peninsula. Moon is widely forecast to inherit the "sunshine policy" of engagement with the DPRK through economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

The ruling party lawmaker expressed hope that the DPRK could open its closed door and join the initiative for the Eurasian prosperity, calling for concerted efforts of the international community for the hope.

Park anticipated that the Belt and Road Initiative will provide a new growth opportunity for South Korea as well as the Asian region.

South Korea, Park said, is the latest country which signed a free trade pact with China. Since then, the two nations have advanced cooperation in diverse fields including trade, investment and infrastructure, he said.

The 2017 annual meeting of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be held in June in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju, and it will be the first session that is held outside China, said Park who regarded it as very meaningful for the bilateral relations.

The chief delegate said the Belt and Road forum will help the initiative become the Belt and Road Initiative of the world beyond Asia as major countries from Asia, the Americas and Europe actively attend it, drawing a worldwide interest and support.

He anticipated that the forum will set the foundations to push for the effective cooperation projects through living discussions between participating countries and companies.

Through this forum, he said, South Korea and China are anticipated to cement the bilateral "strategic cooperation partnership," hoping for the bilateral discussions at the forum about effective cooperation projects that contribute to the development of the bilateral relations.