New Silk Road project, China setting up bank to fund it

New Silk Road project, China setting up bank to fund it

The Marine Silk Road Bank to fund project

Following up on the creation of a US$50bil infrastructure bank, China is creating a new bank to fund its “New Silk Road” project of intercontinental land routes and maritime links.

The Marine Silk Road Bank will have a minimum paid-in capital of 5 billion yuan (U$816.23mil) and will be funded by the Marine Silk Road Investment Management Fund and unnamed Asean member countries, said Reuters, quoting the official China Securities Journal.

The plan will focus on building roads, railways, ports and airports across Central and South Asia, said Reuters, quoting Xinhua state news agency.

A map published by Xinhua envisages two routes: an overland one snaking through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Iran en route to Vienna in Austria; and a maritime route from Chinese ports to Belgium’s Antwerp, said Reuters.

A meter-long ancient Chinese map, depicting cities along the Silk Road.

A meter-long ancient Chinese map, depicting cities along the Silk Road.

Apart from the New Silk Road initiative covering Central and South Asia, China has also offered US$20bil in infrastructure loans to Asean countries.

In the case of Malaysia, China had expressed interest to help build a Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail link, said Reuters, citing state media and the government as quoting Premier Li.

China is also keen to get involved in Chilean and Australian railway and port projects.

This interest was expressed to leaders of Malaysia, Chile and Australia on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meetings in Beijing.

Having gone on aggressive infrastructure expansion in its own vast country, China is now mapping its global presence in infrastructure.

“The cost of it is so mind-blowingly big and I would say that the only country in the world that could ever dream of this is China,” Henrik Christensen, president of global logistics at KTZ Express, part of Kazakhstan Railways, was quoted as saying.

These are massive investments and China has focused in on infrastructure as an area of solid potential and influence.

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