One Belt, One Road

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One Belt, One Road (Chinese: 一带一路; pinyin: Yídài yílù, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative; abbreviated OBOR) is a Chinese framework for organizing multinational economic development primarily in Eurasia through two main components, the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" (SREB) and oceangoing "Maritime Silk Road" (MSR). It was unveiled by President Xi Jinping in September and October 2013 in announcements revealing the SREB and MSR, respectively.

Infrastructure networks[edit]

The coverage area of the initiative is primarily Asia and Europe. However, Oceania is also included as well as East Africa.

Silk Road Economic Belt[edit]

The Silk Road Economic Belt (丝绸之路经济带) initiative was announced by Xi Jinping on a visit to Kazakhstan. Essentially, the 'belt' includes countries situated on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The initiative calls for the integration of the region into a cohesive economic area through building infrastructure, increasing cultural exchanges, and broadening trade. Apart from this zone, which is largely analogous to the historical Silk Road, another area that is said to be included in the extension of this 'belt' is South Asia and Southeast Asia. Many of the countries that are part of this 'belt' are also members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Maritime Silk Road[edit]

The Maritime Silk Road, also known as the "21st Century Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt" (21世纪海上丝绸之路) is a complementary initiative aimed at investing and fostering collaboration in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and North Africa, through several contiguous bodies of water – the South China Sea, the South Pacific Ocean, and the wider Indian Ocean area.[1][2][3]

The Maritime Silk Road initiative was first proposed by Xi Jinping during a speech to the Indonesian Parliament in October 2013.[4] Like its sister initiative the Silk Road Economic Belt, most countries in this area have joined the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

East Africa[edit]

This region of Africa will form part of the MSR after improvement of local ports and construction of a modern standard-gauge rail link between Nairobi and Mombasa.[5]

Closely related networks[edit]

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor are officially classified as "closely related to the Belt and Road Initiative".[6] In coverage by the media, this distinction is disregarded and the networks are counted as components of the initiative.

Financial institutions[edit]

AIIB[edit]

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank founded by China in 2014 with the participation of 56 other countries is a development bank dedicated to lending for projects that are part of the initiative.

Silk Road Fund[edit]

In November 2014, Xi Jinping announced plans to create a 40 billion USD development fund, which will be distinguished from the banks created for the initiative. As a fund its role will be to invest in businesses rather than lend money for projects.

Oversight[edit]

The Leading Group for Advancing the Development of One Belt One Road was formed sometime in late 2014, and its leadership line-up publicized on February 1, 2015. This steering committee reports directly into the State Council of the People's Republic of China and is composed of several political heavyweights, evidence of the importance of the program to the government. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, who is also a member of the 7-man Politburo Standing Committee, was named leader of the group, with Wang Huning, Wang Yang, Yang Jing, and Yang Jiechi being named deputy leaders.

In March 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for accelerating the "One Belt One Road" initiative along with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in his government work report presented to the annual meeting of the country's legislature.

References[edit]