Monday, June 13, 2016

China’s Vice Premier Promotes Silk Road Economic Belt on 4-Country Tour

Zhang Gaoli sought to drum up interest in the ambitious trade and infrastructure network in the Caucasus.

By Peter Bittner

THE DIPLOMAT - June 11, 2016

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli recently wrapped up a nine-day trip to Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, during which he sought to gain traction for the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, China’s proposed plan to link the world’s second largest economy to Europe via Central Asia.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the complementary Maritime Silk Road were proposed by the Chinese government in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. The twin projects are collectively referred to as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR).
As Xinhua reports, on May 30, Zhang met with Russian Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich, who spoke in strong support of the integration of the OBOR initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. In May 2015, Russia and China signed a joint declaration on the integration of the two regional development projects.