Belt and Road Forum

Beijing pledges aid to nations along trade routes

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday (May 14).
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday (May 14). PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING • Signalling that the Belt and Road initiative is not just about trade and infrastructure building, Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged assistance to countries and international organisations participating in it.

China will provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan (S$12.2 billion) in the coming three years to improve people's well-being, Mr Xi said yesterday at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum.

The Asian economic giant will provide emergency food aid worth 2 billion yuan to developing countries along the Belt and Road trade routes and make an additional contribution of US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, the Chinese leader said.

China will also launch 100 "happy home" projects, 100 poverty alleviation projects and 100 healthcare and rehabilitation projects in countries along the routes. In addition, it will provide international organisations with US$1 billion to implement cooperation projects that will benefit these countries.

Last month, Chinese experts held a workshop at the United Nations in New York to help UN secretariat officials understand how the Belt and Road initiative intersects with the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reported the China Daily newspaper.

The agenda includes the eradication of extreme poverty, overcoming inequality and injustice, and the mitigation of climate change.

 
 

The UN will be selecting 20 countries along the trade routes in the first phase of an international cooperation project linked to the initiative to accelerate implementation of its 2030 agenda in these nations.

The Belt and Road initiative has as one of its aims the "balanced and sustainable development" of countries along the trade routes.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2017, with the headline 'Beijing pledges aid to nations along trade routes'. Print Edition | Subscribe