China pledged USD 124 billion for new Silk Road - the world's largest infrastructure program
The announcement came during the opening of a two-day summit on the project in China, attended by leaders and top officials from around the world. “We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told the gathering. He added that the world must create conditions that promote open development and encourage the building of systems of “fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules.” And amid claims of China’s ambition for empire-building, Xi called for abandonment of old models based on rivalry and diplomatic power. “China is willing to share its development experience with all countries. We will not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. We will not export our system of society and development model, and even more will not impose our views on others,” he said. At the event in Beijing participated also the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan and a senior adviser of the Afghan President Ghani. Unveiled in 2013, China’s Belt and Road initiative is expected to cost more than one trillion dollars. China has already invested more than $50 billion in 20 countries along the routes, including the Gwadar port project in Pakistan. The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes connecting East to the West. Northern Afghanistan was along the route. The new Silk Road doesn't pass Afghanistan, but the country could connect to the route. Afghanistan is one of the beneficiaries of the initiative.