The Belt and Road Initiative -- China’s proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in cooperation with related countries -- was unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visits to Central and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013.
The initiative focuses on promoting policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties through extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, with the goal of bringing benefits to all.
By the end of 2016 over 100 countries and international and regional organizations had expressed an interest in participating, and more than 40 of them had signed cooperation agreements with China.
Silk Road Economic Belt
The proposed economic belt is considered the longest economic corridor in the world -- and potentially the most dynamic -- connecting the Asia-Pacific region in the east with developed European economies in the west.
21st Century Maritime Silk Road
Starting with the launch of individual projects that are expected to help spur a wider range of cooperative activities, it envisions a network of interconnected markets linking the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, South Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and Europe, and a strategic partnership for the South China Sea and the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Spirit of the Silk Road
Throughout the millennia, interaction along this route has shaped the Silk Road spirit, which is embodied in solidarity and mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, inclusiveness, a disposition to learn from each other, and cooperation in finding win-win solutions.
Silk Road Fund
The Silk Road Fund was established in Beijing on December 29, 2014, following President Xi Jinping’s announcement on November 8 that China would contribute 40 billion US dollars for this purpose. The fund will support infrastructure and resource development and industrial cooperation in the countries along the land and sea Silk Roads.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a regional inter-governmental development institution focused on supporting infrastructure development. It is the first multinational financial institution sponsored by China. As of the end of March 2017, the bank’s membership had reached 70, second only to that of the World Bank.
Steering Group for the Belt and Road Initiative
A steering group for the Belt and Road Initiative has been established at the national level to study important issues related to planning, policy, and projects, and to provide guidance and coordination in the implementation of the initiative.
Joining Hands to Build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road -- Vision and Actions
The document explains the background of the initiative, and outlines its guiding principles and broad objectives, and the priority areas and mechanisms for cooperation.
In his speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University on September 7, 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt by promoting policy coordination, road connectivity, unimpeded trade, currency convertibility, and closer people-to-people ties.