The program that changed my views on life started on December 10, 2018. Our trip was to the amazing Yangjiang city. This is a coastal city in southern China and is close to Pearl River delta. Here the story starts.
Sitting in the bus going to our destination and looking out the window, I was in anticipation of next days, full of interesting seminars, meetings and exhibitions. Members of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road leadership team program also sheared their expectations for the impending trip and everyone was exited.
On the first evening, our honored professor Peter Steiner hold a seminar, during which we discussed numerous aspects of the initiative. The professor clearly explained the main idea, objectivities and obstacles of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Students were willing to participate in discussion and asked some questions devoted to the theme. This seminar gave me an explicit understanding of what this initiative is, what resources China uses, and what it seeks and what benefits the BRI will bring to the countries-participants. Furthermore, Peter Steiner described which opportunities the initiative gives to the young generation. Since most students are still considering their future, this conversation gave us new ideas and inspiration to act, to learn more about the BRI and to take an active part in it. We are all mediators between our own country and China; hence, we can contribute to the historic project. My country, Russia, is close to China and has a lot in common, but still there is a gap in some aspects. I’m sure that I can make all my efforts to assist in changing the situation. Now in China I’ m gaining an important experience trying to understand what exactly will be better to do and how according to the rules, specialties in politics, economy and culture.
Next unforgettable trip, which gave me knowledge about cultural and historical aspects, was to the Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum, there we had honor to speak with the head of this incredible place and ask questions devoted to the excavation of the ancient merchant ship “Nanhai I” and about the work with artefacts. Nanhai I traded along the Marine Silk Rout during the Southern Song Dynasty. Thus, it has a story of about 800 years. Consequently, even at that times China had flourishing trade with other countries, as on the board were founded countless items of crockery, porcelain, jewelry and coins. Furthermore, the expertise showed that the crew were consisted of foreigners, who intended to deliver Chinese goods to their own country. By the way, the same items were discovered in some coastal African countries. Hence, the ship “Nanhai I” proves that China had prosperous maritime trade in the past. If such phenomenon existed 800 years ago, then now, in a highly globalized world, we should attach even more attention to maintaining links with each other and remember a long story of it.
While sitting around the table with people from all around the world, watching how they eager to communicate, to learn from the past, to participate in establishing a mutual successful cooperation and building a common future, you understand we have the same thoughts and aspirations and thus, together we have enough power to realize all our will.
Although, we are from different states, we have different backgrounds and dreams, we all want to live in flourishing, prosperous, strong country. However, nowadays it’s impossible to reach that goal without the help of the other countries and friendly connections between them. Only cooperation and mutual understanding will assist us to build the future we want. I strongly believe that each of us has its own talent and potential, which we can apply to the fulfilling of our aspirations. Now is time to act.