With an eye on expanding its economic prowess, which could in turn fuel its global agenda, China has been investing billions of dollars on infrastructure development around the world.
The latest pledge of $124 billion was announced at the ‘Belt and Road’ Summit in Beijing in May. Focusing on trade, telecommunication and infrastructure connectivity and cooperation, the plan is oriented to reviving the ancient Silk Road project linking China to Persia and the Arab world.
The 2013 initiative (also known as One Belt One Road or OBOR) involves the land-based ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the sea-based ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’. Together, the routes cover more than 60 countries across Asia and Europe via Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and the Middle East.
To fund this ambitious project, China instituted the New Silk Road Fund with $40 billion and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) contributing $100 billion.