Picture shows the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, collectively known as the Belt and Road initiative. (Xinhua)
BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China agreed with Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan to deepen cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative during President Xi Jinping's visits to the three countries.
The Belt and Road -- the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road -- run through Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting the vibrant Asian economic circle at one end and developed Europe at the other.
Following are the major events in the development of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative so far.
September 2013 -- The "Silk Road Economic Belt" concept is introduced by Xi during his visit to Kazakhstan. He suggests China and Central Asia cooperate on such a belt.
October 2013 -- Xi proposes a China-ASEAN community and offers guidance on a "21st Century Maritime Silk Road."
November 2013 -- The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China calls for accelerating infrastructure links among neighboring countries and facilitating the Belt and Road Initiative.
December 2013 -- Xi urges strategic planning of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote connectedness of infrastructure and build a community of common interests.
June 2014 -- Xi says China is ready to deepen cooperation with Arab states in oil and gas, infrastructure, trade and investment, nuclear power, aerospace and satellite and new energy.
November 2014 -- Xi announces that China will contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to set up a Silk Road Fund to finance Belt and Road projects.
February 2015 -- China outlines priorities for the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting transportation infrastructure, easier trade and investment, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges.
March 2015 -- China releases an action plan on the principles, a framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms of the Belt and Road Initiative.
May 2015 -- China and Russia agree in Moscow to integrate the former's Silk Road Economic Belt with the latter's vision of a trade and infrastructure network across Eurasia.
January 2016 -- China and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran agree to expand cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-initiated multilateral bank, starts operation.
June 2016 -- China agrees with Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan to enhance Belt and Road cooperation during Xi's visits to the three countries.
Xi says more than 70 countries and international organizations are participating in the construction of the Belt and Road. Chinese enterprises have invested a total of 14 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the route and created about 60,000 local jobs.