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China's Belt and Road Initiative, Five Years In

Jun 22, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, formally announced in 2013, has revived the country's ancient concept of the Silk Road.

China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, formally announced in 2013, has revived the country's ancient concept of the Silk Road. 

(06photo/Shutterstock)

Since it began in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has become the centerpiece of China's domestic and foreign policy, jump-starting diplomatic, financial and commercial cooperation between China and more than 70 neighboring countries across the Eurasian landmass. When it's complete, the massive infrastructure project will increase China's overland and maritime connectivity to other regions, extending its trade, and technological capabilities to new markets. The initiative also gives China the opportunity to offload excessive industrial capacities, facilitating the necessary domestic industrial reforms it needs in order to establish a more stable economy. In the past five years, China has spent at least $34 billion on the Belt and Road Initiative, focusing primarily on connectivity projects such as railways, ports, energy pipelines and grids. And though China has made major progress toward its long-term goals, it has also encountered several delays and setbacks....

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