The Belt and Road Initiative
The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Land &Maritime Silk Road Initiative or the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative, refers to China’s proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. During his visits to Central and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013, respectively, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the plans to implement this initiative in cooperation with related countries. The initiative is based on five conceptual pillars – policy coordination, connectivity of facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and strengthened people-to-people ties – and on the principle of mutual discussion, building jointly, and sharing the benefits equally, so as to bring genuine happiness to the people along the belt and road.
The coverage area of the initiative is primarily East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, and East-Central Europe. Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is for the common interest of all regions involved, and conforms to the trend of regional and global cooperation, having already received active responses from the countries along the belt and road. By July 2016 over 70 countries and international and regional organizations had expressed their support for and willingness to participate in the initiative, and more than 30 countries and international organizations had reached agreements to cooperate with China in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.