Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website
Subscribe CustomBlackClose

Belt & Road Weekly Subscription Form

download_pop

Research ReportCustomBlackClose

The full edition of the report is available at Xinhua Silk Road Database. You can click the “Table of Content” to have a general understanding of it.

Click on the button below to create your account and get immediate access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Xinhua Silk Road
Silk Road Economic Belt FAQ

Explain China's Silk Road Economic Belt

March 18, 2021


Abstract : In 2013, China proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt to expand Eurasian economic cooperation, with hopes to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Silk Road Economic Belt is part of the BRI..

In 2013, China proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt to expand Eurasian economic cooperation. with hopes to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Silk Road Economic Belt is part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. An innovative cooperative approach was outlined, starting with individual projects that are expected to help spur larger-scale regional cooperative development. The proposed economic belt is considered the longest economic corridor in the world – and potentially the most dynamic – connecting the Asia-Pacific region in the east with developed European economies in the west.

1. Silk Road Economic Belt Concept and Overview

The Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) was first proposed by Chinese President on September 7, 2013. The Chinese President pointed out that "in order to make economic ties closer, mutual cooperation deeper and the space of development broader between Eurasian countries, we can innovate the mode of cooperation and jointly build the "Silk Road Economic Belt" step by step to gradually form overall regional cooperation".

Eurasia is one of the most important domains of human beings, and an important origin of human civilization. Nearly 2,100 years ago, Zhang Qian, an envoy of China's Western Han Dynasty, twice traveled to Central Asia. For thousands of years following this, a trade corridor connecting Eurasia extended and expanded after generations of exploration. Throughout this corridor, business men brought silk, porcelain, tea and other goods produced in the eastern end of Eurasia to Central Asia, West Asia, Europe and North Africa, while in turn, transported spices, jewelries and other products from the West to the East. This corridor was named aptly as the “Silk Road”, by which, throughout its long history, people of different races and from different regions and varied cultural backgrounds explored and traded, benefited and learnt from each other, promotin geconomic and cultural integration and common prosperity. The "Silk Road" became the model for economic and cultural exchanges and integration by all ethnic groups in ancient Eurasian.

It can be said that, before the rise of maritime trade, the Silk Road was an important channel linking Eurasia, and wasone of the main channels for international trade. However, after the Industrial Revolution, especially since the beginning of the 20th century, while international trade, international finance, and international personnel exchanges became more frequent as a whole, Eurasian economic and cultural exchanges have stalled, partially due to limitations of the geographical environment, lack of infrastructure construction, early stage of economic development, as well as other factors. As a result, the concept of STEB has very important significance for improving Eurasian land trade and strengthening economic regional economic integration.

Aerial photo taken on July 5, 2018 shows the Lianyungang-Horgos expressway along the Sayram Lake, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As an important link of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xinjiang is speeding up the development of transportation and logistics to connect east and west. By the end of 2017, the total length of roadin Xinjiang reached 186,000 km, with 4,578 km of expressways. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)

2. Silk Road Economic Belt countries

The SREB in geographically economic sense starts from China on the eastend of the Eurasia continent, passes through Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and some other regions by three lines (northline, middle line,and south line), approaches the Caspian, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, and arrives in Europe and North Africa on the westend of Eurasia. Specifically, the three lines of the SREB are as follows:

"North Line": starting from China, via Kazakhstan, through southern Russia, through Ukraine, the Belarus area, by Poland and other Eastern European countries, and finally reaches Germany, arriving in Western Europe.

"Middle Line": starting from China, via Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries, by Turkmenistan, and continues along the south shore of the Caspian Sea, finally reaching Europe through Turkey.

"South Line": starting from China, via Afghanistan, Pakistan, through Iran into the Arabian Peninsula, and then reaches North Africa through Egypt.

What needs to be noted is that the three lines above just include selected major countries in order to outline the SREB. As a concept of economic geography, the scope of the SREB covers not only the above-mentioned countries, but also includes Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and most countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

Moreover, the significant role of promoting regional integration and economic development of SREB spread to a wider area, such as the majority of North Africa and Europe, as well as the East Asian industrial chain including Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries. One end of the SREB is the East Asian-Southeast Asia industrial chain, and the other end connects the developed Europe and the developing Africa. Even by the narrow-definition estimates, the SREB covers a population of 2.175 billion, accounting for 30.87 percent of the world's total population. It is also related to an economic scale of about 16 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for 22.1 percent of world total. By the broad-definition estimates, the SREB covers a population of approximately 30 million, and relates to an economy of approximately 23 trillion U.S. dollars, with huge market potential.

     3. Overview of the Silk Road Economic Belt countries

The following table shows the overview of some Silk Road Economic Belt countries and the category of income group is according to the World Bank.

Country

Region

Income Group

Afghanistan

South Asia

Low income

Armenia

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Azerbaijan

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Belarus

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Georgia

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

Iran

Middle East & North   Africa

Upper middle income

Iraq

Middle East &   North Africa

Upper middle income

Jordan

Middle East &   North Africa

Upper middle income

Kazakhstan

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Kyrgyzstan

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

Moldova

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

Pakistan

South Asia

Lower middle income

Russia

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Saudi Arabia

Middle East &   North Africa

High income

Syria

Middle East &   North Africa

Lower middle income

Tajikistan

Europe & Central   Asia

Low income

Turkey

Europe & Central   Asia

Upper middle income

Turkmenistan

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

Ukraine

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

Uzbekistan

Europe & Central   Asia

Lower middle income

       

 4. Economic performance of some Silk Road Economic Belt countries

   The following tables shows economic performance of some Silk Road Economic Belt countries. Figures such as GDP, per capital GDP and population can basically reflect situation of the countries.

Country
    Year 2019
GDP (bln USD)GDP   (purchasing-power parity, bln USD)per capital   GDP(purchasing-power parity)Population   (mln)
AfghanistanAFG19.2982.032156.4238.04
BelarusBLR63.08189.3119997.069.47
ChinaCHN14342.9023523.3616829.871397.72
EgyptEGY303.091233.1512283.81100.39
GermanyDEU3861.124782.6657530.3083.13
IranIRN
1072.7012937.4882.91
KazakhstanKAZ181.67509.4627517.5618.51
KyrgyzstanKGZ8.4535.425485.566.46
PakistanPAK278.221060.754898.05216.57
PolandPOL595.861335.2535165.2037.97
RussiaRUS1699.884433.0929181.36144.37
TajikistanTJK8.1232.903529.319.32
TurkeyTUR761.432347.1328133.0983.43
TurkmenistanTKM


5.94
UkraineUKR153.78562.2113341.2144.39
UzbekistanUZB57.92245.427308.4233.58


      5. Trade of the Silk Road Economic Belt countries

The following table shows the import and export, and FDI of the Silk Road Economic Belt countries. 

Country
    Year 2019
Exports of   products and service (bln USD)Share of   products and service exports in GDP (%)Imports of   products and service (bln USD)Share of   products and service imports in GDP (%)FDI net flow   (bln USD)Share of FDI net   flow in GDP (%)
AfghanistanAFG



0.020.12
BelarusBLR41.9166.4342.2166.911.272.02
ChinaCHN2641.2718.422476.2917.26155.821.09
EgyptEGY53.0417.5078.0925.779.012.97
GermanyDEU1810.5946.891586.7841.1072.211.87
IranIRN
25.27
30.911.51
KazakhstanKAZ65.8336.2450.2527.663.371.85
KyrgyzstanKGZ3.1637.395.5565.700.404.78
PakistanPAK28.1510.1256.5320.322.220.80
PolandPOL330.9155.54302.8750.8314.402.42
RussiaRUS481.2928.31352.9120.7631.971.88
TajikistanTJK



0.212.62
TurkeyTUR249.3032.74227.9829.949.051.19
TurkmenistanTKM



2.17
UkraineUKR63.3241.1775.3649.005.833.79
UzbekistanUZB18.0731.2024.2241.822.314.00

 

 6. GDP performance of the Silk Road Economic Belt countries 

The following table shows share of the agriculture, industry and service in GDP for countries.

Country
    Year 2019
Share of   industry in GDP (%)Share of   service industry in GDP (%)Share of agri.   industry in GDP (%)
AfghanistanAFG14.0655.4725.77
BelarusBLR31.3048.826.78
ChinaCHN38.9753.927.11
EgyptEGY35.6250.4711.05
KazakhstanKAZ33.0355.534.47
KyrgyzstanKGZ27.6150.2412.09
PakistanPAK18.3453.8622.04
RussiaRUS32.1754.033.45
TajikistanTJK


TurkeyTUR27.1956.476.42
TurkmenistanTKM


UkraineUKR22.5654.439.01
UzbekistanUZB33.1632.2525.52

  7. Six major economic corridors under Belt and Road Initiative

The six major economic corridors usually refer to the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC), the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the China-Central and Western Asia Economic Corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC).

        New Eurasian Land Bridge Economic Corridor

The New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB) is an international passageway linking the Pacific and the Atlantic. As distinct from the Siberian Landbridge, which goes from Russia's eastern port of Vladivostok through Siberia to Moscow and onward to West European countries, this "second" bridge goes from China's coastal cities of Lianyungang and Rizhao to Holland's Rotterdam and Belgium's Antwerp. The 10,800-kilometer-long rail link runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and serves more than 30 countries and regions.

        China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC)

The China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC) has two key traffic arteries: one extends from China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to Hohhot and on to Mongolia and Russia; the other extends from China's Dalian, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin and Manzhouli to Russia's Chita.

Seven major areas of cooperation are envisaged: transport infrastructure and connectivity; port construction, and customs and border inspection and quarantine services; industrial capacity and investment; trade; cultural and people-to-people exchanges; environmental protection; and cooperation with adjacent regions. Transport is the main focus.

        China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC)

The China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC) links China and the Arabian Peninsula. The vast region it covers generally follows the trajectory of the ancient Silk Road.

The corridor starts from China's Xinjiang and traverses Central Asia before reaching the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula. It crosses five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) and 17 countries and regions in West Asia (including Iran, Saudi Arab and Turkey).

       China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC)

The China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC) extends from China's Pearl River Delta westward along the Nanchong-Guang'an Expressway and the Nanning-Guangzhou High-speed Railway via Nanning and Pingxiang to Hanoi and Singapore.

This land bridge links China with the Indochina Peninsula and crosses the heart of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia. It is expected to boost China's cooperation with the ASEAN countries.

        Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC)

The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC),with the objective of linking the two huge markets of China and India and enhancing regional connectivity.

       China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, The 3,000-kilometer-long corridor starts from China's Kashgar and ends at Pakistan's Gwadar, and connects the Silk Road Economic Belt in the north and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in the south. It is a trade network of highways, railways, pipelines and optical cables, and a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative.

CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the region. The enhancement of geographical linkages having improved road, rail and air transportation system with frequent and free exchanges of growth and people to people contact, enhancing understanding through academic, cultural and regional knowledge and culture, activity of higher volume of flow of trade and businesses, producing and moving energy to have more optimal businesses and enhancement of co-operation by win-win model will result in well connected, integrated region of shared destiny, harmony and development.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is journey towards economic regionalization in the globalized world. It founded peace, development, and win-win model for all of them.

     6. Chinese provines and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt

      5 provinces and regions in northwestern China:

Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autunomous Region

       4 provinces and regions in southwestern China:

Chongqing Municipality, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Shaanxi is situated at the geographical center of China. A one-day circular drive around Xi’an can cover a population of several hundred million. Shaanxi is the main gateway to Northwestern China from central and eastern regions, and the main channel from Northern China to southwestern regions. It is an important and convenient place connecting the economically developed eastern region and the resourceful western regions.

As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Shaanxi province firmly understands the opportunity of building the modern version, is an exemplary starting point for it and by exploiting its natural advantages is positioned to be the “one belt and one road” bridge tower.

Bordering central Asia and as a gateway to Eurasia, west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is the core zone on the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Guangxi is an important region for cooperation between China and ASEAN because it connects the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Guangxi recently improved transportation to and from its ports by opening a railway that connects Yulin city with Tieshan Port as well as connects the ports of Fangcheng, Beihai, Qinzhou and Tieshan to each other.

        8. The meaning of the Silk Road Economic Belt is as follows:

First, it will contribute to the development of China's neighboring diplomacy and create a sound environment for economic development.

Second, it will help build a new regional economic cooperation organization and form a new international economic pattern. The construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt is of great significance to the construction of a new global economic pattern of cooperation and development.

Third, it will help ensure China's national strategic security. The western region is an important area to ensure China's strategic security. The construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt is conducive to the development and construction of the western region.

Fourth, it will help China foster new economic growth and promote the westward shift of the economic center of gravity.

Scan the QR code and push it to your mobile phone

Keyword: Silk Road Economic Belt China's Silk Road Economic Belt

Reading:

China steps up FTZ construction to boost investors' confidence

Online shopping boosts consumption in China amid epidemic

Beijing to reimburse medium, small, micro firms with no or fewer layoffs unemployment insurance premiums

Background of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

New Horizon Health completes round-D financing of USD20 mln

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to [email protected] and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im http://img.silkroad.news.cn/templates/silkroad/en2017te access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Ask Us A Question belt & road login close

If you have any questions, please enter them in the box below.

Identifying code Reload

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to silkroadweekly@xinhua.org and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im http://img.silkroad.news.cn/templates/silkroad/en2017te access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial