BEIJING,  Jun 10 (FAM) – Well over a 1,000 trains, up to 2 kilometres long, have already travelled from China’s interior to Western Europe, delivering electronics and other goods along the New Silk Road. For these, new tracks were laid, and gauges harmonised, across many countries. Vast sums, too, were spent in China’s border provinces, to build terminals and logistics hubs.

The numbers, even if a little vague, are staggering. Chinese banks have already invested some US$250 billion in participating countries in recent years, financing roads, pipelines, rail tracks, container terminals, and power plants.

The US$40 billion New Silk Road Fund provides additional firepower, and the recently established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, potentially able to lend some US$250 billion, will also be able to finance Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) projects. At the recent summit in Beijing, Xi promised another US$134 billion in funding. All up, new infrastructure worth US$1 trillion could be rolled out over the next 10 years.