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"Healthy" Silk Road leads to healthier int'l cooperation
January 22,2017   By:Xinhua
BEIJING, Jan. 22, 2017 -- Around a week before gifts are shared across China for the Lunar New Year, the country has presented the world with presents that are set to improve the wellbeing of more people. During President Xi Jinping's visit to World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding pledging to step up health cooperation under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative was signed between China and the WHO.
 
The move underscored China's role as a responsible major player on world stage -- promoting better international cooperation to build a better world for all, said Wang Yiwei, international affairs professor with Renmin University of China in Beijing.
 
First proposed by the president in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has gradually and steadily brought substantial changes in terms of trade and investment to the people and countries along the trade routes.
 
The initiative is not only about infrastructure, but also culture, public service and other areas of cooperation, in which health care is one important part, said Chen Fengying, director of the Institute of World Economic Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
 
FROM ECONOMY TO HEALTH CARE
 
China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road totaled 3.1 trillion U.S. dollars in the 36-month period ending last June. By the first half of 2016, 1,881 cargo trains had run between China and Europe along 39 rail lines.
 
The cooperation zones built under the initiative have brought together enterprises with a collective output of 47.5 billion U.S. dollars.
 
So far, China has inked more than 40 cooperative agreements under the initiative, covering more than 10 key industries including steel, electronics, automobiles and equipment making.
 
The promising early results in infrastructure and trade delivered over the three years are just the first step of the initiative, which aims at international cooperation in a wider range of fields, culminating in win-win, shared development.
 
While the "hard connection" of rail lines and ports brings countries geographically closer, "soft connection" will bring their people together.
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