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Photo: Merics research

Belt and Road Cooperation

China’s new Silk Road plan, also referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was introduced by president Xi Jinping in September 2013. The ambitious project has two major components: Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road. The Silk Road Economic Belt aims to build a network of highways, railways, ports and pipelines linking Asia via the Middle East to Europe. The second part, Maritime Silk Road, is an ocean-based transport of networks and routes linking the South China Sea, South Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coast of Africa at various points.

The international conference called The Belt and Road Forum represents another important pillar of the initiative. This event helps to promote further multilateral relations among partner countries. The first Belt and Road Forum, attended by many world leaders, took place in Beijing in 2017. President Xi Jinping announced that the Forum would be held every 2 years.

More than 60 countries from Asia, Africa and Europe are involved in the initiative. The major infrastructure projects funded by BRI have taken place in Southeast Asia. Czech Republic officially joined the Belt and Road initiative on November 25, 2015 by signing the Memorandum of Understanding. In addition to the Memorandum, BR Centrum for partnership was establish in order to monitor and evaluate BRI-related projects in the Czech Republic. Within the initiative, the Czech Republic expects to strengthen bilateral cooperation and deepen the EU-China dialogue.

The Belt and Road initiative is rooted origin in the Silk Road: formally established during the Han Dynasty of China in second century BC. The original purpose of the Silk Road was to create network of trade routes connecting East to West.

Czech President visited China, attended Belt and Road Cooperation Forum


The President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman paid a visit to China from 25th to 28th April 2019 to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and to participate at the Second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The President was accompanied by… more ►