Inside the “Belt and Road,” China’s Massive Rail Project Linking 70 Countries

The mega-project is set to link countries across the Asian, European and African continents.

belt and road
Chinese President Xi Jinping has invested billions of dollars in the project. (James D. Morgan/Getty Images for Carnival Australia)
Getty Images for Carnival Austra

China is in the midst of what it’s touting as the largest engineering undertaking of the century — building a network of railroads and shipping lanes that will connect 70 countries across multiple continents.

Countries jumping into the project with China include Pakistan, India, Russia, New Zealand and Poland; a combined force that represents over a third of the world’s GDP.

The system will consist of two parts: the “Belt,” which will follow the old Silk Road route and the “Road,” a route through various oceans that is not actually a road at all. So far, China has invested at least $900 billion, according to Business Insider, for adjacent projects in infrastructure and energy.

Traversing over 6,000 miles, the railway will transport electronics, machinery, clothes, and shoes from China to Lodz, Poland and, on the reverse trip, will carry food and drink back from Poland.

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