The 2019 Belt and Road forum is underway in Beijing as China shows off the expansion of its key infrastructure project. Leaders from some 37 countries are discussing the gigantic project with China’s president Xi Jinping. Launched five years ago, it is set to boost trade between China and the world.
So what does China’s Belt and Road initiative, its new version of the Silk Road, involve? One route runs through Central Asia and Moscow all the way to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It consists of roads and railways, as well as power stations, telecommunications networks, and pipelines.
Then there’s the Maritime Silk Road, which will connects China with Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. China has already invested billions in infrastructure projects along the way. But critics are warning that president Xi’s gigantic project is plunging its partners into debt, giving China increasing power, and there are concerns that the project could lead to a market monopoly by China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pushes back against criticism of his controversial Belt and Road initiative. Also, France reacts to President Emmanuel Macron’s key announcement of new tax cuts.