New progress in pursuit of Belt and Road Initiative

New progress was made in jointly pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative in 2018, with strengthened industrial cooperation, improved infrastructure and closer ties in trade and investment, according to an official report.

The following are some key facts and figures, according to the report of the National Development and Reform Commission.

-- China vigorously pushed for international cooperation last year and has so far signed 171 cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative with more than 150 countries and international organizations.

-- Industrial capacity cooperation made headway in 2018. Tangible results were seen in the construction of an industrial park of China and the United Arab Emirates. China has reached agreements with more than 10 countries including France, Japan and Singapore on cooperation in third-party markets.

-- The China-Laos and China-Thailand railway projects made solid progress. The high-speed railway from Jakarta to Bandung started construction, and the Gwadar port project in Pakistan was also pushed forward.

-- China-Europe freight trains have made more than 13,000 trips so far, with the proportion of China-bound trips up by nearly 20 percentage points in 2018. The trains connect Chinese cities with 49 cities in 15 countries.

-- Aviation connectivity improved in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, with the number of air routes up by 106 in 2018. The current 387 air routes connect 33 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

-- The Belt and Road international science organizations alliance was established last year, which will help China build technology transfer platforms with ASEAN, South Asia, Arabian countries, Central Asia and central and eastern Europe, and facilitate joint efforts of China and eight countries including the Philippines and Indonesia to develop science parks.

-- Fruitful outcomes were achieved during the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

-- The Digital Silk Road was steadily advanced. Memorandums of understanding on cooperation between China and 16 countries have been signed.

-- China's accumulative trade volume with Belt and Road countries surpassed 7 trillion U.S. dollars. It has built 82 overseas economic cooperation zones in Belt and Road countries, with investment exceeding 30 billion U.S. dollars. In 2018, non-financial investment from China came in at 15.64 billion U.S. dollars, up 8.9 percent.

-- Eleven Chinese banks have set up 71 branches in 27 Belt and Road countries, and the renminbi cross-border clearing system covered 41 countries and regions.

-- China has signed cultural cooperation agreements with more than 60 Belt and Road countries, and established 17 overseas cultural centers in Belt and Road countries.

Editor: 曹家宁