10 Years of the Belt and Road Initiative in Eurasia


By:Vadim Yelfimov 


The Silk Road is the smoothest and most unobstructed. Compared to the world’s best-known transport routes in the history of mankind, represented by the Route from the Varangians to the Greeks and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the Chinese- proposed “Silk Road” connects east and west across Eurasia, in which Belarus is also actively involved. To describe the Belt and Road, one can say that it is “the most widespread”, “very potential”, “broad in scope”, “highly promising” and “mutually beneficial”, all proper descriptions but alien to its very features.

Its very features can be found in its official name. Chinese people like to take a prudent and discreet approach by giving their programs a vivid name. Seemingly simple words always contain a profound meaning …

Certainly, “silk” implies “Chinese”. According to ancient legend, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, who ruled China in 3000 B.C., was the first to raise silkworms and reel silk, known as the beautiful Lei Zu (also Xi Ling Shi). Legend has it that Lei Zu was sitting under a mulberry tree in her garden drinking tea when a silkworm cocoon fell from a branch into her cup. Obviously, it is a very similar story to those of Archimedes and Isaac Newton. But even without the corroboration of this legend, it is an irrefutable fact that silk production originated in China in the fourth millennium B.C. Silk was circulating within China until the second half of the first millennium B.C., when it was introduced abroad with the opening of the Silk Road.

Nowadays, a technologically advanced modern China is trying to reopen this age-old trade route, where goods have turned into high-tech and high-precision products. China seemingly wants to shout to the world: “I have a great idea! Let’s stop the war and trade on a global scale!”

Therefore, it is a silk road of “technology trade”. Why is it named “silk”? Because the road is flat and smooth! There’s nothing smoother than silk. This is the essential idea of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: no barriers, no bureaucracy, only the highest speed and the most powerful transportation capacity. Besides, the fewer tariff barriers along the road, the lower the price of goods, the more satisfied the buyers, and the more the manufacturers benefit.

As such, the second main feature of China’s New Silk Road is that it boasts mutual benefits for all participants, which is the basis for equal cooperation, as well as for the development of a new type of international economic relations. It is exactly the basis upon which a new type of international economic relations are built!

Another feature of great importance is that the fabric of silk is smooth and pliable, difficult to cut, which is perhaps the most critical feature under the current circumstances. To be precise, the routes of China’s Silk Road 2.0 (or “the Belt and Road”) all pass through China’s hinterland, i.e. the land routes of Eurasia, free and secure from the West’s impediments.

That’s why the Silk Road connecting Beijing and Minsk, Shanghai and Moscow, is the smoothest and most peaceful! Moreover, it holds tremendous commercial value.


Vadim Yelfimov is the head of the political observers department at the Minsk-Novosti news agency.

The author contributed this article to Belt and Road Journalists Network .The views do not necessarily reflect those of Belt and Road Journalists Network.