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Belt and Road Initiative July 11, 2019

Belt and Road Initiative

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 a consultative process and joint efforts, with the goal of bringing benefits to all.

The initiative covers primarily East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. It reflects a convergence of interests and an increasing need for regional and global cooperation. The response from countries along the proposed Belt and Road has been enthusiastic.

The Belt and Road Initiative has driven new advances in opening up. By the end of 2018, China had signed more than 150 cooperation agreements with 106 countries and 29 international organizations from Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and south Pacific, and carried out industrial cooperation projects with more than 30 countries. The UN General Assembly and Security Council have made reference to the initiative in some of their resolutions. General Assembly resolution 2344, for instance, called on the international community to increase regional economic cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative.