Explainer: Will China’s new Silk Road be green?

9663211386 664ff840c4 kTrading camels for high-speed trains and caravansaries for power plants, the Silk Road is in the midst of a renaissance. On May 14 and 15, Beijing will host a summit to discuss the resurgence of the ancient routes. Given the historical symbolism you might think it will be an arcane assembly of academics. Instead, the meeting will be China’s central geopolitical event of the year and a watershed moment in the country’s ascent to global leadership. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will play a determining role in shaping the sustainability of global development, particularly among emerging economies.

Who’s going?

As President Xi Jinping’s flagship initiative, the Belt and Road forum will be the highest level gathering for China on the international stage. Twenty eight foreign leaders are set to attend, although Italy’s Prime Minister will be the only G7 head of state present. Heads of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and representatives from 110 countries will also be there.

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