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Throughout my childhood I was absolutely fascinated by the adventures of Tintin in Tibet, the charismatic characters, awesome landscapes, and the deeply symbolic, cultural mysticism that emanated. That was when I promised myself that one day I would clamber along the trail of the Yeti and perhaps meet Chang, the Chinese boy of my age. I longed to become his friend, too! Reaching adulthood, I had the extraordinary luck of being able to visit almost all the Provinces and the different ethnic groups in towns as well as in the countryside. I fell madly in love, but something was still missing from my knowledge of the Empire of the Sun which was one of China’s historical treasures… the legendary Tibetan province.
At last my dream has come true: to visit this mythical region and discover its anchored roots plunged deeply in the era of the Emperors of China, acknowledge its dazzling social development and actual economic prosperity thanks to the choices of the central government.
I am delighted about future meetings in Lhasa, the sumptuous landscapes at 4500 m altitude, the constructive discussions and cultural sharing that will surely make my visit to this Province an unforgettable souvenir that will remain forever in my heart. We’ll discuss the advent of the new Silk Roads project, inspired by President Xi Jinping and orchestrated by China, neighbouring countries and their partners, that wants to be a unique universal opportunity.
These historic and redesigned routes that are planned to cross Asia and continue on to Western Europe in a dynamic economic and cultural exchange should open multiple and sometimes novel cooperation in numerous sectors going farther than commercial merchandise: social, sports, tourism, university, artisanal, for example.
Thus, this famous Belt and Road initiative wants to bring tomorrow’s world to a peaceful path and to shared prosperity. This is the declared will, essentially the major and very real challenge for this ambitious project, the success of which will depend essentially upon common goodwill and balanced reciprocity which will make it credible and attractive.
Tibet Province could naturally benefit from this and enjoy economic profit and sunny days ahead. Its geographical situation, much as a celestial door, appears a symbol for this project of exchange and sharing. Men and women of different origins sharing a peaceful and glorious destiny thanks to their inalienable culture and common history. This perspective is definitely very seductive.
While others of this world preach radical protectionism and inward-looking attitudes, it is wise and even primordial to think together to find pragmatic solutions, to act together to protect our planet and its environment, for harmony between people and nations, in respect of cultures and identity, for global cooperation and interaction. It seems that China resolutely wants to take this path. That’s comforting and it’s promising.
And if, in the end, all that has just one goal, the fairest and most commendable: offer a better world to future generations where the keywords are mutual understanding, respect for others, fair sharing, general optimism and assured peace? We would all benefit. Let’s do it!
This is why I am participating enthusiastically at Tibet. The dream is on its way, but that goes without saying.
Olivier Yves Grandjean