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What to expect from Belt and Road Forum

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-01 14:39

BEIJING -- The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for mid-May is a high-profile international meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed trade and infrastructure plan connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.

China will use the forum to build a more open and efficient international cooperation platform and a closer, stronger partnership network as well as to push for a more just, reasonable and balanced international governance system.

Here is what you need to know about the initiative and the upcoming forum.


The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which takes the theme "strengthening international cooperation and co-building the 'Belt and Road' for win-win development," will be held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing. President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and host a round-table leaders' summit.

The forum has been designed to pool more consensus, identify cooperation directions, push forward the implementation of projects, and improve supporting systems.


The Belt and Road comprises the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which were put forward for the first time by President Xi in September and October 2013 in his subsequent state visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

Building upon the spirit of the ancient Silk Road -- "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefits" -- which continues to this day, the initiative targets a modern transnational network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, with the aim of promoting common development among all parties involved.


More than 100 countries and international organizations have already joined the initiative, of which more than 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China.

The United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council and APEC have all incorporated or reflected Belt and Road cooperation in their resolutions and documents.


A series of major transport, energy and communication projects, including the multi-purpose road-rail Padma Bridge in Bangladesh, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and China Railway Express trains to Europe - have witnessed breakthroughs over the past three years and more.


Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road totaled 6.3 trillion yuan (about $913 billion) in 2016, more than a quarter of China's total trade value.

Chinese businesses have invested more than $50 billion in countries along the Belt and Road, and helped build 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 20 of those countries, generating nearly $1.1 billion in tax revenue and 180,000 local jobs.


China has dedicated $40 billion to a Silk Road Fund and set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015 to provide financing for infrastructure improvement in Asia.

So far, the AIIB has seen its membership increase to 70, with the multilateral development bank's total lending amounting to over 2 billion dollars.


China is also pushing forward six economic corridors in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, namely, the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, the China-Mongolia-Russia corridor, the China-Central Asia-West Asia corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula corridor, the China-Pakistan corridor, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor.

Together, the six corridors form a trade and transport network across Eurasia, laying a solid foundation for regional and transregional development plans.

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