Connectivity is a priority area under the Belt and Road Initiative. While respect for each other’s sovereignty and security concerns is indispensable, a closer alignment of infrastructure development planning and technical standards is called for between the countries along the Belt and Road. Such a move would facilitate the construction of key international arteries, so as to build an infrastructure network that not only links all the subregions in Asia, but also extends out to Europe and Africa. Also essential is the need to promote a green and low-carbon approach to building and operating infrastructure, taking into full account any potential trigger for climate change.
Rather than confined to the traditional sense of connection by means of highways, railways, aviation routes, shipping routes and pipelines, the new notion of connectivity is understood to cover such areas as power supplies, telecommunications, postal services, border controls, customs, quality controls, and integrated planning as well. Efforts to boost connectivity aim to link a vibrant East Asia with the developed economies in Western Europe, covering a host of other countries in between with huge potential for economic development. With interests interlocked, all countries concerned are encouraged to seek cooperation in pursuit of shared prosperity.