Editor's Note: The third SCNU English writing contest, themed "Telling China's Story", ended with 422 entries from 33 different schools. We congratulate all prize winners on their outstanding performance. Awarded winners have been announced (see results), and all winning entries will be published in this column.


By Su Yuxia

By January 29, 2021, China has signed 205 cooperation documents on Belt and Road cooperation with 171 countries and international organizations. In response to General Secretary Xi Jinping’s call to tell China’s story well, as a young man of the new era, I would like to take the Belt and Road as the topic, not only to carry forward China’s diplomatic philosophy of "harmony in diversity", but more significantly to present an open, confident and peaceful China to the world.


The picture shows the latent spirit of the Belt and Road, harmony in diversity, which is also China's consistent diplomatic thought. (Photo by Visual China Group)

China has, since ancient times, been an exponent of harmony in diversity. We hope that different countries and diverse civilizations engage in exchange on an equal basis, learn from each other, and achieve common progress. Friends, do you still remember Zheng He's treasure ship? As an essential component of the ancient Chinese Maritime Silk Road, Zheng He's voyages to the western seas were also a model of "win-win" diplomacy between China and other countries, creating the "harmony in diversity" diplomacy of mutual benefit and common development. 

To be more specific, in the early 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, Zheng He, a famous Chinese navigator, made seven voyages to the ocean, leaving a thousand years of good stories. The reason why the pioneer won his place in history is that he is not as conqueror with warships, guns or swords. Rather, he is remembered as friendly emissary leading camel caravans and sailing treasure-loaded ships. In the course of his mission, Zheng He conducted a lot of trade with the various countries along the Maritime Silk Road, sending out silk, ceramics and other fine crafts in exchange for luxury goods and exotic animals.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Silk Road that once trekked through the desert and the Maritime Silk Road that crossed the ocean created a glorious history of cooperation and exchanges between the East and the West. Nevertheless, as the world map changed dramatically, the Silk Road gradually fell silent. On the map of the world today, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiated by China have once again invigorated this ancient but brand-new road. The Silk Road, guided by China's vision of "harmony" diplomacy, is not only a road for the convergence of goods, but also a road for mutual respect and trust, win-win cooperation and mutual learning among civilizations. 

Let's take three examples to illustrate this. The frontier Primary School in Ruili, Yunnan province, shows the practice of constructing the "Silk Road of Peace" between the two countries; the story of foreign students in China testifies to the "Intellectual Silk Road" that has been opened; and the ecological project in Astana illustrates China's efforts to build a "Green Silk Road" with the countries along the route. Among them, there is no doubt that youngsters have played an active role by contributing their ideas and doing their best. Some have become honorable international peacekeepers, some have participated in assistance activities for refugees in West Asia and North Africa as volunteers, some have worked on international non-traditional security issues as scholars, and so on.

Last but not least, faced with the challenges of the COVID pandemic, the Belt and Road has developed into a road to health and recovery. In the early stage of the pandemic, B&R partners provided valuable support to China, and accordingly, China has returned the favor by providing anti-epidemic assistance to 122 partners, sending medical teams to 25 countries along the route as well as sharing its experience in prevention, control and treatment with all countries without reservation. Just consider that from January to May 2020, the number of train departures and shipments increased by 28% and 32% year-on-year, and the total amount of epidemic prevention materials transported reached 12,524 tons, which indubitably became a "lifeline" and "link of destiny" for countries to fight against the pandemic together.

From what has been mentioned above, one point is proved that China, not forgetting its roots, inherits the "harmony in diversity" diplomatic thought that has been accumulated for thousands of years along the ancient Silk Road. What's more, confronted with the increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, China, building on the past progress, not only insists on opening up, but more prominently, it is also dedicated to implementing the new development philosophy, building the One Belt and One Road into a road to peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization.

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