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belt and road

a road and sea project


the belt and road (initiative) = Neue Seidenstraße



"Italy rattles US and EU with likely support for China's BELT AND ROAD ... The country's populist government is poised to endorse its participation in Beijing's $1tn Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global trade project."

The Guardian

"What's in it for the BELT-AND-ROAD countries? - How might the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus benefit from China's grand new investment Initiative?"

The Economist

Did you

One Belt One Road (OBOR)
slogan, abbreviation


One Belt One Road (OBOR) is an ambitious project that focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among multiple countries spread across the continents of Asia, Africa and  Europe.

The initiative was unveiled in September and October 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, and was thereafter promoted by Premier Li Keqiang during state visits to Asia and Europe. The initiative was quickly given intensive coverage by Chinese state media and became the most frequently mentioned concept in the official newspaper People's Daily by 2016.

But Why Belt and Road?

The Belt and Road initiative has two main prongs: one is called the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ (the belt) and the other the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ (the road).

Bewilderingly, the ‘road’ is not actually a road but rather a sea route linking China’s southern coast to east Africa and the Mediterranean. The ‘belt’ is a series of overland corridors connecting China with Europe, via Central Asia and the Middle East.

“It is a very confusing name,” admits Peter Cai, the author of a recent report about Belt and Road, who blames China’s propaganda-focused state media for failing to properly explain the concept to the world. “There is still a lot of confusion about what the Belt and Road initiative is and what it actually entails.”

The initiative’s Chinese name - "yi dai yi lu" meaning one belt, one road - rolls off the tongue far more easily.

Try saying this to a Chinese friend today and see if s/he understands :-)


(1)  What is China's Belt and Road Initiative? The Guardian
(2)  Chronology of China's Belt and Road Initiative" China's State Council

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