Full Steam Ahead on the China-Europe Express Route

For the Public Good

When the Belt and Road Initiative was first put forward in 2013, few might have imagined that it would encompass more than 150 countries and international organizations in collaborative projects in a matter of years. The initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to boost connectivity along and beyond the routes of the ancient Silk Road. With a view to enhancing both China’s development and its cooperation with global partners, it focuses on cementing links in five key areas: policies, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people-to-people bonds. Policy coordination The number of cooperation documents signed between China and other countries has increased substantially as the circle of participants in the Belt and Road Initiative widens. Italy became the first member of the Group of Seven to sign a memorandum of understanding on the initiative with China in March. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy is glad to seize this historic opportunity to join the Belt and Road Initiative, with its special geographical advantage in building connectivity. To date, China has signed 173 cooperation documents with 125 countries and 29 international organizations. According to Building the Belt and Road: Concept, Practice and China’s Contribution issued in May 2017, there were only 46 agreements with 39 countries […]