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China accelerates planning to re-connect Maritime Silk Road

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is stepping up the planning of reviving the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century, with port construction as the priority, local media reported on Wednesday.

The plan is expected to focus on infrastructure construction of countries along the route, including ports of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the China Securities Journal said.

China will coordinate customs, quality supervision, e-commerce and other agencies to facilitate the scheme, which is also likely to contain attempts to build free trade zones.

The 21st century Maritime Silk Road was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in a speech on strengthening economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations during his visit to Indonesia in October.

Southwest China's Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are strong options for being one end of the route.

The Maritime Silk Road dates back to as early as 2,000 years ago, when ancient merchants sailed from China's eastern coast, passing Southeast Asia, Southernmost of India and East Africa, all the way to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, strengthening economic ties and cultural communication.

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