29 Mar 2017

Forum welcomes China's "Maritime Silk Road"

9:47 am on 29 March 2017

The Pacific Islands Forum has welcomed China's push to establish a 21st century Maritime Silk Road which will include Oceania and East Africa.

Proposed by Xi Jinping the development strategy focuses on connectivity and cooperation between China and countries primarily in Europe and Asia.

It has two components a land based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "Maritime Silk Road".

China's president Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in January. The AIIB is hoped to be China's answer to the World Bank.

China's president Xi Jinping Photo: AFP

Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, China, the Pacific Island Forum's Deputy Secretary General Andie Fong Toy welcomed China's Belt and Road Initiative as a contribution to global economic leadership, to address the great need for infrastructure, connectivity, human capital development and access to markets, at a time when the world economy faces serious challenges.

It is estimated that the development strategy will cost anywhere between four and eight trillion US dollars to implement.