Your guide to understanding OBOR, China’s new Silk Road plan

World leaders gathered in Beijing over the past two days to hear China’s plan for global trade: the One Belt One Road initiative. Nearly 70 countries and international organizations have signed up for the mega infrastructure project, said president Xi Jinping at the close of the summit today (May 15), but others still have no idea what it is. The next gathering in Beijing is slated for 2019.
During his speech at the opening of the “Belt and Road” forum, Xi pledged at least $113 billion in extra funding for the initiative, and urged countries across the globe to join hands with him in pursuit of globalization.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the program is an estimated $5 trillion (pdf) infrastructure spending spree that spans 60-plus countries across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.

Hailed by Xi as a “project of the century,” the plan fits into his bigger narrative that China is setting an example of globalization, filling the void left by the US under Donald Trump’s “America First” policy.

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