Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, China officially launched the initiative in September 2013 when President Xi used a speech at a university in Kazakhstan to call for the creation of a “Silk Road”. The project was later expanded and re-branded with its current name; “The Belt and Road initiative”. It has two main components: one is called the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ (the belt) and the other the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ (the road). The ‘road’ is not actually a road but rather a sea route linking China’s southern coast to east Africa and the Mediterranean. The ‘belt’ is a series of overland corridors connecting China with Europe, via Central Asia and the Middle East.

The Belt and Road initiative is an immensely ambitious development campaign through which China wants to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and beyond. It hopes to do so by building massive amounts of infrastructure connecting it to countries around the globe.

ECU aims to support the new revived Silk Road by introducing and maintaining a very strong relationship between the two countries, based on the ECU’s affiliations with the top universities in china in all fields of education and hence allowing the exchange of education and resourceful growth as well as its persistent efforts in becoming a leading foundation in aiding innovation and entrepreneurship with the help of the Chinese expertise in the field of small enterprises and startups.