What is One Belt, One Road?

The Belt and Road refers to the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the seagoing "21st Century Maritime Silk Road". It was first unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of connecting 65 countries across three continents to China. The initiative seeks to promote economic co-operation among countries along the land and sea routes.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued its Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road on 28 March 2015. This outlined the framework, key areas of co-operation and co-operation mechanisms with regard to the Belt and Road Initiative.

One Belt, One Road Concept Framework

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa along five routes.

The Silk Road Economic Belt focuses on: (1) linking China to Europe through Central Asia and Russia; (2) connecting China with the Middle East through Central Asia; and (3) bringing together China and Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, meanwhile, focuses on using Chinese coastal ports to: (4) link China with Europe through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean; and (5) connect China with the South Pacific Ocean through the South China Sea.

Focusing on the above five routes, the Belt and Road will take advantage of international transport routes as well as core cities and key ports to further strengthen collaboration and build six international economic co-operation corridors: the New Eurasia Land Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina Peninsula, China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar

The six international economic co-operation corridors: the New Eurasia Land Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia,
China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina Peninsula, China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar

How Big is the “Belt and Road”?

The Belt and Road Initiative will extend from the Chinese mainland to Europe and include more than 60% of the world's population living in 60-plus countries across Asia, Europe and Africa. This will cover 30% of the world's GDP, and 35% of world trade.

What are the specific means to establish the "Belt and Road"?

Priority given to building infrastructure in countries along the Belt and Road, along with the construction of highways, railways, ports, oil and gas pipelines, fibre optic networks, intercontinental submarine cable, civil aviation cooperation platform etc. Additionally, the Initiative would eliminate investment and trade barriers, co-build free trade zones, and promote regional cooperation and development.

How does the Belt and Road foster cooperation between China and the World?

The Belt and Road initiative provides a visionary blueprint for global economic development in the new world order. Taking reference from the historic Silk Road, which transformed the nature of international trade links in ancient times, the Initiative offers a modern-day solution that fosters inclusive growth and development in the 21st century.

Where does the budget come from?

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): The AIIB, a new multilateral development bank (MDB), has been set up with a view to complementing and cooperating with the existing MDBs in order to address infrastructure needs in Asia. 

AIIB  has US$100 billion (S$136.01 billion) of initial capital, and will focus on the development of infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia, including energy and power, transportation and telecommunications, rural infrastructure and agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, urban development and logistics. 

The Silk Road Fund: The US$40 billion (S$54.4 billion) Silk Road Fund has been established to finance the Belt and Road Initiative. It will invest mainly in infrastructure and resources, as well as in industrial and financial cooperation. The Fund was set up as a limited liability company in December 2014 with its founding shareholders including China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the China Investment Corp, the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank. The Fund will comply with market rules and the international order of finance, and welcome participation from domestic and overseas investors, such as the China-Africa Development Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

New Development Bank: A multilateral development bank was established by the BRICS states: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with an initial authorized capital of US$100 billion (S$136.01 billion). The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is US$50 billion, and was equally distributed among the founding members. The 7th BRICS summit in July 2015 marked the entry into force of the Agreement on the New Development Bank.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Development Bank: Currently in the making, it's purpose is to support SCO member countries in furthering the scope expansion of local currency settlement. All eight members of the SCO are located along the Belt and Road.

New Funding boost during Belt and Road Summit in May 2017

Chinese President Xi pledged another massive funding boost to the project during the China's first ever Belt and Road summit held in Beijing in May, 2017. This includs an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund, 380 billion in loans from two policy banks and 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and international institutions in new Silk Road countries. In addition, China also would encourage financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan.