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China pushes the Belt and Road Initiative

The “One Belt, One Road” initiatives are popular topics during this year’s two sessions. Premier Li Keqiang stressed that the initiative is another way for China to open up. It is widely expected that more efforts will be made this year to boost connectivity and cooperation between countries along the routes.

The Belt and Road Initiatives:

1. What are “The Belt and Road Initiatives” ?

-President Xi Jinping’s plan to connect Asia and Europe by borrowing the concept of the historical Silk Road.

-One Belt: Silk Road Economic Belt

-One Road: 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

2. Where does it go through?

The “One Belt” begins in Xi’an in Northwest China before stretching west through Urumqi to Central Asia. From there it goes to northern Iran before swinging west through Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. From Istanbul, it crosses the Bosporus Strait and heads northwest through Europe, including Germany and Netherlands. It then heads south to Venice, Italy.

The other part of the plan is the ‘One Road’ that begins in China’s Quanzhou in Fujian province and heads south to the Malacca Strait. From Kuala Lumpur, it heads to India, then crosses the rest of the Indian Ocean to Nairobi, Kenya. From Nairobi, the Maritime Silk Road goes north around the Horn of Africa and moves through the Red Sea into the Mediterranean. Then it meets the land-based Silk Road in Venice.

3. What has China done?

Nov 8, 2014: Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the $40-billion Silk Road fund.

Dec 29, 2014: China’s Silk Road Fund Co Ltd was established in Beijing.

Feb 16, 2015: The Silk Road Fund starts operation.

4. Who benefits?

The Belt and Road Initiatives will benefit

— 4.4 billion people

— 63% of the global population

— A collective GDP of $2.1 trillion

— 29% of the world’s output