China Makes Headway on Belt and Road, Urbanization

(Xinhua News Agency, Aug. 16, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - Progresses in the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s urbanization drive are among the bright spots in the country’s efforts to fulfill targets in its development plan.

Capacity, infrastructure and education cooperation with countries under the Belt and Road Initiative have made substantial progress, said Zhao Chenxin, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at a news briefing.

Advances in Belt and Road.

The total value of bilateral industrial cooperation has exceeded $100 billion under the framework. So far, Chinese companies have built 46 cooperation zones in countries along the routes, while China’s Ministry of Education has inked over 60 deals with those countries.

In 2015, nearly half of the international students in China came from countries along the routes, Zhao said. Nearly 400,000 foreign students from 202 countries and regions came to study in China in 2015, data showed.

Meanwhile, China has built railways, highways and ports along the routes while signing MOUs with its neighbors and partners.

Launched in late 2013, the initiative is an umbrella term for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It will be a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.

Progress on urbanization goals.

China has also made significant progress in shanty-town renovation and building affordable housing and public transportation, the spokesperson said at the same briefing.

As of the end of June, the country had met 66.9% of its annual shanty-town renovation target, 8.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

As for urban affordable housing projects, 97.9% of the annual target had been reached as of the end of June, Zhao said.

In the first half of 2016, city and inter-city railway ...

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