Much of the Belt and Road imports come from countries like Russia, India and the rest of Central Asia [PPIO]
China has increased its imports from Belt and Road countries to $666 billion, up by 20 per cent from the previous year, the State Information Center said on Monday.
Exports to the same countries grew by only 8.5 per cent to reach just over $774 billion, the Center said.
The bulk of growth was to be found in imports from Central Asia, India and Russia. This region accounts for some 70 per cent of China’s Belt and Road trade.
China’s One Belt, One Road initiative aims to create a modern Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to boost trade and extend its global influence.
The ancient Silk Road connected China and Europe from around 100 B.C.
The 6,000-km road linked ancient Chinese, Indian, Babylonian, Arabic, Greek and Roman civilizations.
A map unveiled by state agency Xinhua shows the Chinese plans for the Silk Road run through Central China to the northern Xinjiang from where it travels through Central Asia entering Kazakhstan and onto Iraq, Iran, Syria and then Istanbul in Turkey from where it runs across Europe cutting across Germany, Netherlands and Italy.
Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $124 billion for the ambitious One Belt One Road program.
In addition, China is providing assistance worth 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) to developing countries and international organizations participating in the “Belt and Road” drive to launch more projects to improve people’s well-being, the Chinese President announced.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies