One Belt One Road
The intention of the One Belt One Road project is to recreate the trading routes of old overland and sea through central Asia, to Europe and beyond. With massive investment in infrastructure along the way, spanning at least 65 countries, including more than 60% of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP and with an estimated cost of $900bn this will be one of the most expensive development projects ever attempted.
The “Belt & Road Initiative” as it is commonly referred to, has two main elements: the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt.
The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is a planned sea route with integrated port and coastal infrastructure projects running from China’s east coast to Europe, India, Africa and the Pacific through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Economic Belt will be an overland network of road, rail and pipelines roughly following the old Silk Road trading route that will connect China’s east coast with Europe (Jiangsu province to Rotterdam, Netherlands) via a new Eurasian land bridge.
Bulgaria is reported to be one of the countries through which this New Eurasian land bridge will run. This is of major economic significance to Bulgaria as it is expected that it will bring much in the way of infrastructure, trade and investment to the country.
5 regional corridors will branch off the land bridge, with Mongolia and Russia to the North, South East Asia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to the South, and central Asia, West Asia and Europe to the West.
China’s president Xi Jinping announced in May 2017 that the country’s multibillion dollar plan to build a modern-day Silk Road will be the “project of the century” and will signify the start of a new “golden age” of globalisation.