22 Jan 2018: Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on Latin American countries to actively participate in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and forge a trans-Pacific path of cooperation that links China and Latin America more closely.
Xi said this in a congratulatory message to the second ministerial meeting for the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Forum, which opened in the Chilean city of Santiago. -Xinhua
23 July 2017: The OBOR/BRI investments size has reached $900 billion. It may cross $1 trillion by the end of this year. China says it will ultimately lend as much as $8 trillion for infrastructure in 68 countries.
14 May: The Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation was held in Beijing, China. President Xi Jinping inaugurated the BRF. Pakistani PM Sharif also spoke along with Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan.
This writer attended the BRF. Thoughts here: What China signalled through OBOR Forum
12 May: PM Sharif and the four chief ministers arrive in Beijing to attend Belt and Road Forum (BRF) on 14-15 May. 29 heads of states and governments are attending, along with 1,500 delegates from all over the world (our exclusive story on BRF).
8 April: China welcomes the United States to participate in cooperation within the framework of OBOR, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart, Donald Trump. – Xinhua
In 2016, Chinese companies’ investment in US reaches $45.6 billion, creating about 104,000 jobs.
April 2017: More than 100 countries and international organisations have joined OBOR and over 40 of them have cooperation agreements with China. Chinese businesses have helped build 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 20 countries along OBOR, with investment exceeding $18 billion, helping generate $1 billion+ in tax revenue and 160,000+ jobs.
The OBOR, proposed by China in 2013, aims to become a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes. For regional connectivity, China is working in aviation, power, rail, road and telecommunications projects with participating countries. – Edited from Xinhua
18 October 2015: The year 2015 is witnessing plans being put in place under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2013 vision for a Belt and Road Initiative.
A world-reshaping ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) has arrived. It is Globalisation 2.0.
Under OBOR, a ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ through Central Asia, and a ’21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ through Southeast and South Asia are being planned. BRI official document here.
See OBOR in: Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050
Leveraging social media for CPEC & OBOR: A keynote by Wali at a CPEC/OBOR seminar
There are at least 116 projects being presented under OBOR (list below).
Total starting worth of these projects is: $225 billion. It could easily reach $1 trillion by end of 2017.
According to Center for American Progress blog, OBOR projects must meet three criteria. That the projects:
- were publicly proposed by China
- were accepted by the host country as part of the Belt and Road Initiative
- had designated funding from a Chinese company or the Chinese government
VIDEO: How One Belt One Road (OBOR) works. Source: CCTV
Four major takeaways about these projects:
- They create alternative trade routes for China to diversify and insulate its economic access.
- They promote the domestic economic viability of Chinese trade partners, such as Pakistan and Indonesia.
- They are clustered geographically in countries that already have active bilateral relationships with China and have a clear articulation of their infrastructure needs.
- They are supported by both Chinese companies and the Chinese government, which work in tandem to achieve the overall goals of the Belt and Road initiative.
Under OBOR, six economic corridors over 65 countries are being planned. See below:
With $46 billion China investment for CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), Pakistan is one big beneficiary of OBOR.
- Investments in energy, transportation, communication and industrial projects across Asia, the Middle East and Europe
- According to President Xi, within a decade, China’s annual trade with countries involved in OBOR will exceed $2.5 trillion
Have you seen CPEC & OBOR stories on this blog?
Above: One Belt One Road (OBOR) list of 65 countries.
More on China’s economic & military rise & Xi Jinping:
25 August 2016: Chinese-built Tajikistan Railway, the first railway project in One Road One Belt (OBOR) initiative, starts operation, People’s Daily China, said.
More on China’s internal cleaning:
OBOR Map courtesy: The Wall Street Journal
Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series
8 September 2016: First cargo train from China arrives in Afghanistan’s Hairatan port in northern Balkh province. – Xinhua
Also: When Chinese Leadership style meets Pakistani: Wali’s Talk PPt for China Mobile/Zong strategy team
5 October: Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway is launched.
14 October: After $46B CPEC, China heads to Bangladesh with $40B in investments.
6 November: First Silk Road trans-Eurasia cargo train from China arrives in Riga, Latvia.
18 Jan 2017: First freight train from China to UK arrives in London.
East Wind locomotive, a 34-carriage Chinese freight train, arrives at Barking rail freight terminal in east London.
It is a first train to make the 18-day, 9-country, 12,000km journey from Yiwu in west China to Britain, reviving the ancient trading Silk Road route and shunting in a new era of UK-China relations.
The train left Yiwu on 2 Jan and passed through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before crossing under the Channel and arriving in the east end of London at Barking.
The new train, which starts to run weekly while demand is tested, is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, designed to open up the old Silk Road routes and bring new trade opportunities.
China Railway has already begun rail services to 14 European cities including Madrid and Hamburg.
Yiwu’s streets are among the most cosmopolitan in the world, full of traders from Colombia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Pakistan, India, Syria, Angola and Ukraine, and could now be attracting a few from the UK as well.
In Barking there was great excitement over the arrival of the East Wind, the name of which references the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, who famously said: “The east wind will prevail over the west wind.”
In the 21st century, China has become the world’s biggest exporter, with the export of goods totalling $2.28 trillion in 2015. -News reports
1 March 2017: China’s Chengdu starts freight trains to Belarus. It plans 150 freight trains to countries such as Belarus, Russia, Lithuania this year.
2 April 2017: China-Europe new freight train linking Xi’an with Budapest, Hungary, starts operation from 1 April.
10 April 2017: Silk Road train sets off on first UK to China rail freight journey.
29 April 2017: First China-Britain freight train returns to China carrying 32 containers of UK-made products
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) April 29, 2017
5 June: New freight train route opens between NE China and Belarus, cutting transportation time of sea route by half
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) June 5, 2017
9 June: A 198-seat passenger train left NW China’s Xinjiang for Kazakhstan, second of its kind between the countries.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) June 9, 2017
17 June: First freight train from China’s Changsha arrives in Budapest
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) June 17, 2017