Belt and Road Forum (BRF – 2019) held Beijing

In China, the 2nd edition of Belt and Road Forum (BRF – 2019) was officially held in Beijing with theme “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”. In it, 37 heads-of-state and 159 countries had participated along with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Monetary Chief (IMF) Christine Lagarde. The BRF is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The aim of BRI is to reinvent the ancient Silk Road to connect Asia to Europe and Africa through massive investments in maritime, road and rail projects. The initiative offers to bring much-needed modern infrastructure to developing countries, but critics say it mainly favours Chinese companies while saddling nations with debt and causing environmental damage. The idea of BRI was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The BRI (or yi dai yi lu) is made up of a “belt” of overland routes and a maritime “road” connecting Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe and Africa.

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