China is embarking on the largest infrastructure project in history, spanning four continents and attempting to link the old Silk Road to Europe — and back to China.
Why it matters: China is increasingly asserting its economic power, and seeking to bolster its global influence. It is undertaking this project at a time when the U.S. can't pass a domestic infrastructure project, and is taking a step back from the world.
By the numbers
- $1 trillion or more is the expected price tag, the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos reports. That's seven times as costly as the Marshall Plan, on which the U.S. spent $130 billion to rebuild Europe after World War II.
- 70 countries will be involved in the initiative, Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports.
- At least 36 planned or existing ports outside of China are involved.
- $786 billion in trade took place between China and Belt and Road partners in the first three quarters of 2017, a 15% increase from 2016.
- In Pakistan: China is partnering with Pakistan to build $60 billion worth of infrastructure as part of the initiative, CNBC reports.
- In Thailand: The Chinese partnership with Thailand is expected to yield a 542-mile railroad, carrying high-speed trains that’ll move at up to 150 miles per hour, per CNBC.
- In Malaysia: One Belt, One Road will spend about $40 billion on four railroad projects, per Xinhua.
- The rise: The U.S. controls 24% of the global economy and China 15%, compared to 31% and 4% respectively in 2000.
Go deeper: China wants to reshape the global order