China pledges billions more to Belt and Road dream at first summit

President Xi at B&R conference May 17China this week pledged at least a further $20bn to the future development of its Belt and Road initiative as the 1,500 delegates from over 130 countries who descended on Beijing this Sunday for the inaugural Belt and Road Forum agreed to more than 270 deliverable actions and projects. They also reached a “broad consensus” and pledged to “work for a globalization that is open and beneficial to all” and which would operate within a “stable and sustainable financial support system with controllable risks,” China’s President Xi Jinping told a press conference.
China and OBOR mapDuring the summit China:

  • Signed MOUs with 11 countries and cooperation agreements with nine international countries
  • Singed Economic and trade cooperation agreements with 30 countries
  • Agreed to contribute an additional $14.5bn to the Silk Road Fund and 
  • Pledged to encourage financial institutions to conduct overeseas fund business of up to $43.5bn in RMB.

According to the joint communique released after the summit, delegates reached agreement on the official establishment of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association, and drew up plans fora $14.5bn China-Russia Regional Cooperaion Development Fund.
One Belt One Road is President Xi’s ambitious signature project that aims to build roads, rails, ports, pipelines and other infrastructure joining China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa by land and sea. Spurs from the overland “belt” and the maritime “road” reach into Southeast Asia and towards the Indian Ocean.
Some $900bn of investments, financed by a variety of Chinese or China-backed banks and credit funds, have already been drawn up.