Perhaps the best symbol of China's new openness, the initiative, with the full name of The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by President Xi Jinping during visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013.
In October last year, Ethiopia launched an electric train service that links its capital, Addis Ababa, with the Red Sea port of Djibouti. Kenya inaugurated its diesel-powered standard gauge railway from the port city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi. It is expected to extend to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We can learn from China, by opening up. They have been able to advance in less than four decades, much less a small country like ours. Our size, location, sea and land give us advantage. We have to take the advantage, it is now or never," he said at a State House meeting with public servants.
We did that for about 40 charming, left field and would-be Leonardo di Caprio actors, eisteddfod queens and Little Miss Sunshines. I would have done the whole thing for free but I got paid 300 yuan for the afternoon. Plus some watermelon slices because it's a hot day. Now the city of Yangzhou is famous for its Weiyung cusine, perhaps best known internationally as Yangzhou dan chou fan which is special fried rice literally Yangzhou egg fried rice. They are also famous for wonderful dumplings. So my wife and I went to a really authentic but inexpensive dumpling restaurant and we had these crab, pork and seafood soup filled dumplings (xiao long bao) that were to die for. It's a challenge to eat them as the soup spills forth in any way to wishes for the inexperienced eater. But it's a challenge worth taking again and again.
In a series of events organized by the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, China's diplomats and business representatives exchanged thoughts and had provocative discussions about the issues, hoping some consensus could be reached through a clash of ideas and heated debates.