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Overview of Belt & Road in 2018 (2)

January 25, 2019

Abstract : New achievements were made in six geographical directions in 2018.

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- New achievements were made in six geographical directions in 2018.

Under the joint efforts of neighboring countries, the Belt and Road construction is constantly progressing, with new achievements accumulated in six geographical directions.

Northward, the construction of China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor has been accelerating. In May 2018, China and Eurasian Economic Union officially signed Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, which creates a new common ground for Sino-Russian cooperation in Belt and Road construction.  

With closer cooperation, the bilateral trade volume between China and Russia in 2018 reached 107.06 billion U.S. dollars, surpassing 100 billion U.S. dollars for the first time, which marks an increase of 27.1 percent, the biggest growth rate among China’s top 10 trading partners.

Moreover, China and Russia has joined hands to implement major infrastructure projects. For example, at the beginning of 2018, a second line for the China-Russia oil pipeline began commercial operation, and at the end of the year, Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Arctic Russia officially commissioned the third or last production line and reached its full capacity.

As for Mongolia, in November 2017, the Mongolian government introduced visa facilitation policies for the Belt and Road related personnel, which has come into effect in 2018, showing the country’s firm decision to support the Belt and Road.

Looking southwest, China and Myanmar signed a MOU to jointly build China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) in September, 2018. The CMEC, an important part of the Belt and Road construction, starts in north from China's Yunnan Province, goes down south to the central Myanmar city of Mandalay, and further extends east to the new city of Yangon and west to the Kyaukpyu special economic zone. It is expected to bring China's experience of infrastructure construction to Myanmar and help boost the latter's economic development.

Westward, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is regarded as a "national priority" by the new government of Pakistan. At present, ten projects in four major CPEC cooperation areas have been completed, and 12 projects are under construction, creating 70,000 jobs for Pakistan, and driving the annual economic growth of Pakistan by 1 to 2 percentage points. It is worth noting that a bus service linking China and Pakistan was officially opened in November 2018, which is popular with the both peoples near the border of the two countries.

Southward, the Southern Transport Corridor (STC) initiated by China and Singapore, has officially changed its name to New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor,linking 155 ports in 71 countries and regions worldwide, and better connecting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

Eastward, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has completed his first visit to China by the Japanese Prime Minister in seven years, and expressed his strong will to participate in the construction of the Belt and Road. According to Abe, Japan is will actively explore cooperation with China in third market, to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

Looking to China's maritime neighbors, Cambodia and Indonesia, have respectively signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China. Specially, Indonesia's vision of Global Maritime Fulcrum has strong complementarity with the Belt and Road Initiative.

The achievements in all six directions prove that the Belt and Road has brought, and will continue to bring participants with concrete benefits. (Edited by Li Wenxin)

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