China has proposed to build three ocean-based ‘blue economic passages’ connecting Asia with Africa, Oceania, Europe and beyond in a bid to advance maritime cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The proposal is highlighted in a document titled Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, which was jointly released on Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration, reports Xinhua news agency.

The three blue economic passages will be priority maritime cooperation tasks.

The China-Indian Ocean-Africa-Mediterranean Sea blue economic passage will run westward via the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean and link with the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and connect with the China-Pakistan and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridors.

The China-Oceania-South Pacific passage will run southward via the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean, while another economic passage is also envisioned linking Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

The document called on countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to focus on ‘sharing blue space and developing the blue economy’, which will target issues such as marine environment protection, marine interconnectivity, maritime security and common oceanic governance.

China will adhere to the Silk Road Spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefits, shelving differences and building consensus, said the document.

China also promised to abide by market rules and international norms, giving play to the primary role of enterprises.

The document stressed joint development and benefits sharing among participating countries. “We will plan together, develop together and share the fruits of cooperation,” it added.