Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, stated on the government website that “Over the past eight years, the Belt and Road Initiative has turned from a sketch into a reality, providing tremendous opportunities and bonuses to countries around the world,”
The new “Silk Road Economic Belt” was launched by President Xi Jinping in the fall of 2013 and is among the priorities set by the Chinese government for the coming years. A vast network of transportation, pipeline, and telecommunications infrastructure will form the physical skeleton of a future Eurasian “economic corridor” that will connect China to Western Europe by land, via Central Asia, Asia Minor, the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus, and the Balkans, and by sea, via the China Seas, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. The $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the $40 billion Silk Road Fund were set up just one year after Xi Jinping announced the project to inject investment into regional infrastructure. In fact, the volume of direct investments by Chinese companies in the economies of the countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative have continued is exceeding $130 BILLION. The minister says:
“The aggregate trade between China and the countries participating in the One Belt, One Road initiative has exceeded $9.2 trillion. Direct investments of Chinese companies in the countries of the project have exceeded $130 billion,” despite the difficult epidemic situation, trade between China and the countries of the initiative reached a record $1.35 trillion in 2020. This will have a positive impact on combating the consequences of the Covid pandemic, stabilizing the economy, and protecting the welfare of the population.