“The Wise on the Silk Road” Gather at the 2023 World Special Economic Zones Development (Kashi) Forum on the 10th Anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative

On November 4, the 2023 World Special Economic Zones Development (Kashi) Forum, jointly hosted by the China Center for Special Economic Zone Research of Shenzhen University, a Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities of the Ministry of Education, Kashi University, the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Xinjiang Think Tank, Dayou Institute for China’s High-Quality Development and the Research Center of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, was held in Kashi.

Present at the forum were over 200 experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and administrative division leaders from universities, scientific research institutions and think tanks from China, Sweden, Russia, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. Domestic participating units include the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Nankai University, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen University, Shantou University, Kashi University, and Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics.

The forum aims to implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, to formulate the Party’s strategic layout for the development of Xinjiang in the new era, and to explore how Xinjiang can make full use of its geopolitical and factor endowment advantages in building a “dual circulation” development pattern in the new era.

Experts, scholars and entrepreneurs attending the forum carried out exchanges and dialogues around important issues, including New Roads and New Momentums of Xinjiang’s Transregional Coordinated Development in China’s High-standard Opening-up, Higher Education and High-Quality Co-construction of the Belt and Road, The Status and Role of Xinjiang (Kashi) in Regional Cooperation and International Connectivity, The Belt and Road Initiative and High-Quality Development in Xinjiang, Digital Economy and Path Selection for High-Quality Development in Xinjiang (Kashi), Opportunities and Challenges of Xinjiang (Kashi) in the Changing International Landscape, A Unified National Market and New Momentum for Cross-Border Logistics in Xinjiang, etc., to provide practical solutions for Xinjiang’s transregional coordinated development in China’s high-standard opening-up.

This forum is one of the series of activities of “Special Economic Zones and China’s Path”, a project supported by Shenzhen Publicity and Cultural Undertakings Development Special Fund. It is also the annual international academic brand of the China Center for Special Economic Zone Research of Shenzhen University.

Muheyati Garmuhamati, member of the Party Group and deputy director of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Region, said that on the occasion of the issue of “General Plan for Establishing the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone” by the State Council, the holding of the 2023 World Special Economic Zones Development (Kashi) Forum is of great practical significance and theoretical discussion value, and that they welcome leaders, experts and scholars to contribute to the high-quality promotion of transregional coordinated development in Xinjiang.

He Huawu, former vice president and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and former vice president of the China Association for Science and Technology, believes that as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is of great significance to summarize the achievements and experience of Xinjiang in the past ten years and to look forward to the new roads and new momentums for high-quality development in the future.

Deng Mingjiang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology, pointed out that Xinjiang has insisted on promoting prosperity among the local population in the past ten years, and is turning from a relatively closed inland region into a frontier of opening up to the outside world, and that Xinjiang’s important position in the China’s opening-up to the west is increasingly visible.

Xing Guangcheng, member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies and research fellow of the first grade, believes that as the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward, the status of Xinjiang has undergone a fundamental change, and that Xinjiang should adhere to the construction of “one port”, “two zones”, “five centers” and “one economic belt”, to develop the core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Zhang Zhigan, secretary of the Party Leadership Group and president of the Guangdong Social Sciences Association, pointed out that Guangdong and Xinjiang should follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought, profoundly elucidate the internal logic and fundamental requirements of promoting transregional coordinated development, and systematically think about the main direction of the two places in promoting transregional coordinated development and accelerating the construction of a new development pattern.

Ding Bangwen, secretary of the Party Committee of Kashi University, pointed out that the World Special Economic Zones Development Forum was held in Kashi, an important city in the core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt, in 2012 and 2013. Ten years later, the forum was held in Kashi again, which will surely bring inspiration and rewards for the high-quality advancement of Kashi’s development.

Zhou Hui, vice president of Shenzhen University, pointed out that General Secretary Xi Jinping said at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, “the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit is the most important source of strength for Belt and Road cooperation”. Promoting Xinjiang’s transregional coordinated development to a higher level and with higher quality is an important element of Xinjiang’s implementation of the new development philosophy and advancement of the construction of border areas on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Standing on a new starting point to start a new journey, Kashi will have a better future.

Márquez, vice minister of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and superintendent of Superintendency of Public Property and National Superintendence of Special Economic Zones of Venezuela, emphasized that the successful experience of China’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is worth to be learned by emerging market economies, and that Venezuela’s SEZs are on the rise and will become a new engine to drive the country’s economy in the future.

Prof. Tao Yitao, director of the China Center for Special Economic Zone Research of Shenzhen University and president of the Belt and Road Research Institute (Shenzhen) for International Cooperation and Development, pointed out that the 2023 World Special Economic Zones Development Forum held in Kashi, which combines exotic and modern styles, brought together experts and scholars from home and abroad. She believes that the collision of ideas will certainly produce sparks of wisdom, and that the exploration of new roads and new momentums of Xinjiang’s transregional coordinated development will certainly expand new channels and space for win-win cooperation in the high-quality co-construction of the Belt and Road.

Participants were of the view that, on the one hand, guided by China’s high-standard opening-up, Xinjiang can more effectively become a bridge connecting Central Asia, South Asia, Russia and even Europe, a convenient channel for realizing domestic and international circulations, a golden corridor between Asia and Europe with a strong regional influence, a bridgehead for opening up to the west, and a strategic pivot with geographical advantages in the process of China’s construction of a new development pattern.

On the other hand, guided by high-quality development, Xinjiang can more rapidly form China’s next “economic flashpoint” and “growth pole”, become a “new height” and “new engine of regional strategy” that will drive China’s economy to sustainable and high-speed development once again, and provide Xinjiang’s solutions for the Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, this forum will not only help promote Xinjiang’s transregional coordinated development to a higher level and with higher quality, but also facilitate the high-quality development of the Belt and Road.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative,the program team of “Silk Road Story” set out from the Greater Bay Area for Stockholm of Sweden and Kashi of Xinjiang to interview the wise on the Silk Road and record the charm of thoughts and deep enlightenment of wisdom.Please stay tuned for “The Wise on the Silk Road”, the last episode of “Silk Road Story” Season 4 on GDTV at 9:15 pm on November 17.