Rivers and seas connect with each other in the vast ocean. More than 600 years ago, Zheng He, the legendary Chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty(1368–1644), made seven maritime voyages to the Western Seas, bringing the ancient Maritime Silk Road into its prime.
On this thousands-year-old sea route, China has a romantic encounter with the world. Trading ports Guangzhou, Quanzhou, Ningbo, and Malacca witnessed the bustling businesses of merchant vessels from different countries, shipping China's silk, porcelain, and tea leaves to the world market, narrating the story of an integrated, coexisting East and West.
In October 2013, China raised the initiative of jointly building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which has injected a strong impetus into the major channel of communication between itself and foreign countries.
Located at the shore of the Mediterranean, Port of Piraeus in Greece was once caught in trouble. But thanks to Belt and Road cooperation, the port has regained prosperity, exceeding an annual handling capacity of 5 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) containers.
Colombo Port City in Sri Lanka is a new high-end industrial city by the sea. It has not only created high-quality jobs for locals, but also serves as a significant economic link connecting Southeast Asia and other regions, bringing back the dazzling glamor to the old "Shining Pearl of the Indian Ocean."
Over the past decade, at least 66 countries and regions now have signed 70 bilateral and regional maritime agreements with China. Win-win cooperation has been fruitful along the BRI routes, the circle of friends along the Maritime Silk Road continues to expand, and the deep friendship sustains.
Setting the sails high, crossing the vast ocean, and heading for global destinations, China is working with other countries to echo with the towering sound of the new era. (Gan Tian, Xue Lingqiao)