The 21st-century Maritime Silk Road proposed by China in 2013 will boost stability and sustainable development for all countries involved, a Sri Lanka-based academic has said.
Prof. Samitha Hettige, an expert on strategic studies and conflict prevention, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that “the Maritime Silk Road is a great tool for conflict prevention and sustainable development, because of the economic and social prosperity it will bring.”
“The Maritime Silk Road is a network which will connect products and services across the globe,” he said.
New developments in infrastructure and technology along the Maritime Silk Road will encourage countries to build up their economic strength by producing more and trading surpluses, thereby preventing resource conflicts, Hettige said.
Hettige said that Sri Lanka’s service, finance and logistics sectors would gain immense benefits from the Maritime Silk Road. The Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of Chinese companies along the Maritime Silk Road have positive impacts on social development, he said.
Infrastructure development along the Maritime Silk Road will enable smaller nations to sit as equal partners in the spirit of multilateralism. “China is involved in win-win cooperation,” Hettige said.
Hettige said that the concept of the Maritime Silk Road has a deep historical basis dating back to Admiral Zheng He’s expeditions to Asia and Africa during the Ming Dynasty.