The One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR) also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) is a development strategy proposed by China’s Paramount Leader Xi Jinping. It focusses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian Countries. OBOR is China’s most ambitious international project.
It was initially called OBOR but in 2016, the name was changed to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) due to misinterpretations in the term one.
The SREB and MSR were launched in September and October 2013 respectively. SREB is the land based trade route. MSR is the oceanic trade route referring to the maritime section of the Silk Road connecting China and Southeast Asia. The SREB and MSR together form the OBOR.
A few of the BRI and MSR routes include:
- New Eurasian Land Bridge, Western China to Western Russia through Kazakhstan.
- China Mongolia Russia Corridor, Northern China to Eastern Russia.
- China Myanmar Bangladesh India Corridor, Southern China to Myanmar.
- China Pakistan Corridor, Southwestern China to Pakistan.
- MSR, Chinese Coast to Mediterranean through Singapore.
The BRI project involves many roads, railways and maritime routes. The land and maritime based projects are called as belts and roads respectively.
China has already signed off various projects including major infrastructure work in Africa and Central Asia. The BRI requires the involvement of 65 Countries.
China’s President Xi Jinping said, trade is the most important engine of economic development. “In advancing the Belt and Road, we will not retread the old path of games between foes. Instead, we will build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy,” Jinping said.