When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Southeast Asia (SEA) in September and October of 2013, he raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (hereinafter referred to as the Belt and Road), aiming to build a community of shared interests, destiny, and responsibility that features political mutual trust, economic integration, and cultural inclusiveness. With the concerted efforts of all parties, the connectivity framework of “Six Corridors, Six Roads, Multiple Countries, and Multiple Ports” has basically taken shape, and a number of cooperative projects have taken root.
In order to actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi, and serve the strategic deployment with improved coordination in pursuing the “buy in” and “go global”, the Taiping Reinsurance (China) Co., Ltd. and Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of Beijing Normal University (ADREM-BNU), in accordance with the principle of strong joint complementary advantages and coordinated development, have set up a Joint Research Center for Disaster and Risk Management. The center will jointly carry out focus studies on risks along the Belt and Road, and will periodically publish in the Special Report of Disaster and Risk in the Belt and Road Region series. These efforts will provide scientific support for decision-making for country governments along the Belt and Road to reduce natural disaster risk, provide comprehensive risk management consultant services for Chinese enterprises “going global”, help promote the ability of the insurance industry to handle risk, and better play the role of disaster risk science and insurance research in national disaster risk reduction (DRR) and development of the Belt and Road.
In 2019, the Special Report selected SEA, an important region in the maritime silk road, as its annual focus of analysis. Based on detailed data, the report analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of historical natural disasters in SEA, and the main causes of large-scale disasters in the region. On this basis, it conducted focused analysis of earthquake and volcano threats, and simulated the increasing hydro-meteorological disaster risk in the warming climate. It also carried out disaster exposure analysis for transportation infrastructures that are critical for promoting connectivity in the Belt and Road initiative. The development of non-life insurance and their role in transferring risks were also discussed.
Based on the above analyses, suggestions for integrated disaster risk governance were provided. The report aims to provide reference for local governments and other stakeholders in SEA, enterprises and institutions from China, and people from the international community who are concerned about the disaster and risk in the Belt and Road region. The ultimate goal is to contribute to DRR for local areas and Chinese enterprises operating businesses there, and further strengthen cooperation in economy, culture, and DRR between SEA countries and China.
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