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【Southward Channel】Expert: It is like a newborn of China and ASEAN

Source: CAEXPO Secretariat    Time:2018-06-06 16:42:24
On May 24, Zhai Kun, professor at School of International Studies of Peking University and deputy president of China Association of Southeast Asian Studies said in an interview of Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum, “Compared China and ASAEN to a couple, with having bred China-ASAEN Expo, Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, now they have a newborn, China-Singapore Connectivity Southward Channel, which is much stronger and brings more new opportunities.”
Zhai thought Chinese opening gradually developed to Chinese inland and provinces of southwest China. The establishment of a new channel for international maritime and land trade via the southward channel could not only bring new developmental opportunities, but also enrich the content of “Belt and Road”. On one hand, during the process of pushing forward the establishment of southward channel, it would be necessary for China to make overall plans and coordination and for ASEAN to actively support towards the top-down design. Also, the bilateral should discuss some problems, for example how to connect southward channel with China-EU railway, how to interconnect sea and land and how to achieve mechanistic result.
On the other hand, some new financing projects would be needed. Zhai explained, as a comprehensive channel, southward channel contains logistics, construction of infrastructure and information connection, thus mobilizing capital, especially social capital is needed to drive them forward.
This Pan-Beibu Gulf Forum saw the increasing expansion of its circle of friends. There were some provinces and cities like Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Chongqing City, Guizhou Province and Gansu Province, enterprises like China Railway Corporation and foreign ambassadors in China like Polish ambassador and United Arab Emirates’ ambassador attending the forum, which manifested the huge potential of southward channel.
Professor Zhai believed, Pan-Beibu Gulf cooperation has natural linkage with “Belt and Road”. Building the new channel of sea and land trade would benefit the Pan-Beibu Gulf cooperation. If Pan-Beibu Gulf is taken as a demonstrated pilot of sea and land coordination and a hinge of connectivity, the Pan-Beibu Gulf cooperation can be long-lasting.

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