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China’s Belt & Road members tally increases to 69
August 18, 2017, 5:21 am

A freight train from Yiwu City in east China’s Zhejiang Province, arrives in Barking, east London, Britain, on Jan. 18, 2017 [Xinhua]

China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) has met with increasing acceptance from both developing and developed countries as the total number of countries, regions, and international organizations signing up for it have reached 69.

Countries along the routes account for 43 per cent of the world’s population.

Beijing’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Thursday that 69 countries, from Ukraine to South Korea, have signed cooperation agreements with China on the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The agreements consist of cooperation deals in various fields, including infrastructure construction, financial collaboration, and cultural exchanges, a spokesperson with the NDRC was quoted by Xinhua.

“The NDRC will continue to push the construction of key projects under the initiative while helping companies implement risk-control mechanisms, preventing irrational overseas investments,” a spokesperson said.

Railways, refineries, bridges, industrial parks and other infrastructure are being built along the trade routes.

According to the NDRC, more than 4,000 cargo train trips have been made to ferry goods from China to Europe, with the trains passing through 31 cities in 12 European countries.

A freight route linking China’s eastern coast and London started operating earlier this year.

China has also signed currency swap agreements with 22 countries and regions along the Belt and Road, amounting to about one trillion yuan ($150 billion).

In addition, China has signed educational cooperation agreements with more than 60 countries and partnered with the World Health Organization in promoting health projects based on the initiative.

According to Reuters data, Chinese acquisitions in the countries that have signed up for the Belt and Road totaled $33 billion as of Monday, surpassing the $31 billion tally for all of 2016.


TBP and Agencies

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