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Chinese leader vows to speed up construction of new Silk Road

November 06, 2014, 16:45 UTC+3 BEIJING
Beijing will help partner countries with infrastructure projects, including transportation network, electricity facilities and telecommunications
1 pages in this article
Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping

© CHUNG SUNG-JUN/POOL

BEIJING, November 6. /TASS/. China plans to accelerate the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road aiming to strengthen Beijing’s cooperation with Asian and European countries, the country’s president said on Thursday.

"We should prepare timetables and road maps for the coming years for the 'One Belt and One Road' project," Xinhua quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying at the eighth meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs.

China will focus on significant projects and let the construction of 'One Belt and One Road' commence as soon as possible, the president said, adding that the cooperation with the countries involved would be mutually beneficial.

Beijing will help partner countries with infrastructure projects, including transportation network, electricity facilities and telecommunications, Xi told the meeting.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is expected to begin operations by late 2015, and the Silk Road Fund should play an important role in financing these projects, the Chinese leader said.

A total of 21 Asian countries announced plans to join the AIIB as founding members signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing on October 24. The authorized capital of the bank is $100 billion.

The Silk Road Fund will be set up and funded by China with the aim of directly supporting the construction of "One Belt and One Road." No further details have been revealed.

The Chinese president proposed creating the Silk Road Economic Belt during the visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013. The goal of the project is to strengthen economic links and cooperation to expand development of Eurasian states. The zone runs from China to Europe via Central Asian countries and Russia.

In October 2013, Xi proposed a similar project for developing cooperation with the countries of West, South and Southeast Asia and also East Africa and Europe called the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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