China pledges US$124 billion for new Silk Road, says open to everyone

Beijing, May 14, 2017 — Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged US$124 billion on Sunday for his ambitious new Silk Road plan, saying everyone was welcome to join what he envisioned would be a path for peace and prosperity for the world.

China has touted what it formally calls the Belt and Road initiative as a new way to boost development since Xi unveiled the plan in 2013, aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

“We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy,” Xi told the opening of a summit on the new Silk Road.

“We should jointly create an environment that will facilitate opening up and development, establish a fair, equitable and transparent system of international trade and investment rules,” he added.

Xi pledged a massive funding boost to the new Silk Road, including:

– an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund
– 250 billion yuan in loans from China Development Bank
– 130 billion yuan in loans from Export-Import Bank of China
– 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and international institutions in new Silk Road countries
– encouraging financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan
– 2 billion yuan in emergency food aid
– $1 billion to a South–South Cooperation fund
– $1 bln for cooperation projects in countries on the new Silk Road

He did not give a timeframe.

Leaders from 29 countries are attending the forum, which ends on Monday.