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What ordinary citizens can benefit from “B&R”?
When speaking of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, people might think of it merely as a hifalutin diplomatic compact with little real value for individual citizens.

Updated:1494845184Source:SilkRoadPost

When speaking of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, people might think of it merely as a hifalutin diplomatic compact with little real value for individual citizens. However, the initiative actually has exert considerable influence on our daily lives since it was approved, according to People’s Daily.

Here are six benefits the Belt and Road Initiative can bring right to your door.

Less expensive, more convenient overseas online shopping

As stated in the document titled Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road issued in 2015 ( Hereinafter referred to as Vision and Actions), “We should make innovations in our forms of trade, develop cross-border e-commerce and other modern business models, lower non-tariff barriers, jointly improve the transparency of technical trade measures, and enhance trade liberalization and facilitation.”

This means that imported products from countries along the Belt and Road will feature lower prices, rich variety, high quality and quick delivery. Also, people can go directly to Belt and Road countries to buy products, making shopping more convenient and safer.

Quick, easier trips to Europe and Asia 

Convenient transportation is another benefit.

The Vision and Actions gives priority to linking up unconnected road sections; removing transport bottlenecks; advancing road safety facilities and traffic management facilities & equipment; and improving road network connectivity. 

Till now, a total of 27 cities in China have opened freight trains to Europe, connecting 28 cities in 11 European countries. Meanwhile improvements will be made to alleviate complaints people make about the cost and lack of good flights to international destinations, which can save people significant money.

Looser visa policies

People who love traveling will relish this benefit.

The Vision and Actions suggests the joint creation of competitive international tourist routes and products with Silk Road features and makes it more convenient to apply for tourist visas in countries along the Belt and Road.

This means Chinese passports will be of higher value, and international tourist products will become more pluralistic and comprehensive. As of the beginning of 2017, 60 international tourist destinations offered visas on arrival or visa free travel for Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports.

Easier access to overseas study, more entrepreneurship opportunities

Youths from Belt and Road countries will be offered more opportunities in fields like overseas study, employment and entrepreneurship.
The Vision and Actions points out China should send more students to other countries and promote cooperation in jointly running schools, integrate existing resources to expand and advance practical cooperation between countries along the Belt and Road for youth employment, entrepreneurship training and vocational skill development.

This concept presents more opportunities for academic exchanges, employment and entrepreneurship. Mass innovation and entrepreneurship can be expected overseas.

Also, China's education ministry has signed agreements of mutual recognition of higher education degrees with 46 countries and regions, which provides a better platform for the youths to head towards the world.

More good books, films from the Belt and Road

Those not fond of Hollywood blockbusters should gear up because high-quality films from countries along the Belt and Road are coming. Together with ballet, opera and literary works, they will lay out a huge cultural feast for you. This is an inevitable outcome of China’s action to hold international cultural events, arts festivals, film festivals, TV weeks and book fairs in Belt and Road countries.

Expanded choices for foodies

With the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative, delicacies from other countries are more accessible, such as dried figs from Turkey, coffee from Vietnam, and black tea from Sri Lanka. Some foreign cuisines are gradually appearing on our dinner tables. Not just the familiar German and Thai restaurants, but also more exotic eateries like Georgian and Pakistan restaurants are more commonly seen. 

(By Chris Wang, Louis Berney)

Editor:Joanna You
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