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Belt and Road projects yield fruits, forge ahead amid pandemic in Asia-Pacific

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-22 15:55
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Visitors look at jewelry from Oman at a booth at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November, 2021. Countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative are displaying their exotic goods at this year's CIIE. [Photo by ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY]


Thanks to the resumed BRI arrangement of chartered freight, in November the flow of pine nuts from Afghanistan to China got moving again, much to the relief of rural people whose only income comes from the nut. The whole pine-nut industrial chain provides at least 40,000 jobs in Khost and Paktia provinces. This trade is a lifeline in Afghanistan amid what might otherwise be a harsh winter of food shortages, economic crises and COVID-19.

To Sri Lankans, the BRI will bring more things than clean water to 450,000 Katana residents and a new outpatient building in commercial capital Colombo.

In September, a children's picture book, A City Rising from the Ocean was published. It tells the story of Colombo Port City, a financial hub growing on land reclaimed from the sea for the past seven years. Port City marina staged Colombo Fashion Week shows in November. A PwC study in November said that, once fully operational, the port city project will add $13.8 billion to Sri Lanka's economy.

The China-funded 60,000-seat Morodok Techo National Stadium, built in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, was handed over to Cambodia in September. The country is now ready to host the Southeast Asian Games in 2023.


"The stadium serves as another bridge to connect the hearts of the two peoples," said Cambodian government's chief spokesperson Phay Siphan.

In inaugurating the eighth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge in November, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen thanked the BRI for benefiting the Cambodian people and thanked China for COVID-19 vaccine supplies. Those supplies have been instrumental in achieving the country's very high vaccination rates, with 13.56 million people or 84.8 percent of the population being fully vaccinated as of Dec 15.

Cambodia is also setting up a Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine filling factory. It is among the 29 countries in Asia-Pacific that began Belt and Road partnerships on COVID-19 vaccines cooperation and green development this June.

To return to the biggest BRI event of the year, the China-Laos Railway connecting Kunming in Southwest China to Lao capital Vientiane is a docking project between the BRI and Laos' development strategy.

According to President Thongloun, the shining green line of high tech through primal forest symbolizes the spirit of a community of a shared future and the shared dreams of peoples.

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