Since China’s ambitious ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative (“Initiative”) was first introduced in October 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the rest of the world has been playing close attention to how this major pillar of China’s economic policy will impact its integration with the global economy. It is being heralded as a blueprint for greater cooperation and integration through the development of an infrastructure network connecting all sub-regions in Asia, and between Asia, Europe and Africa.
In recent months, the Initiative has gained significant momentum with the unveiling of an overall strategic plan in March entitled “Vision and Actions Outlined on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” (“Vision and Actions”) by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce.
In particular, it places a strong emphasis on orienting the Maritime Silk Road towards the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), accelerating the development of the Initiative.
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