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One Belt One Road and You

What is China's Belt and Road initiative?

China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative aims to link the economic circles in East Asia and Europe, connecting China – on land and over water – to partners in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping first introduced the concept in 2013 during a visit to Kazakhstan.

Xi said that with nearly 3 billion people inhabiting areas covered by the proposed economic belt, it "represents the biggest market in the world with unparalleled potential."

The Chinese government said the initiative aims to promote "common development and prosperity and a road towards peace and friendship by enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and strengthening all-round exchanges."

It added that the "ambitious" initiative requires countries to work together to improve infrastructure in the region, establish a network of free trade areas, create a secure and efficient network of land, sea and air passages, and promote mutual understanding and friendship among countries.

What will it comprise?

According to the vision and action plan released in 2015, the initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Silk Road Economic Belt will link China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe (the Baltic). China will be connected to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia. It will also be connected to Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean.

The initiative will focus on building a new Eurasian Land Bridge and developing China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors.

Meanwhile, the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road will connect China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other route.

It will focus on "jointly building smooth, secure and efficient transport routes connecting major sea ports along the Belt and Road."

What does it mean to you as a layman?

It means that from now on, we can look towards a more connected world, a world connected by more high speed trains, more ports and more trade

If you are now in trading business, good news for you. You will have more trade opportunities. If you are now in agriculture, you can look forward to having a bigger market for your produce. If you are like me, just a professional, you can look forward to higher need for your professional service. This is because with more trade, more service will follow. 

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