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‘Belt & Road’ Charts New Direction

In 2013, President Xi Jinping announced the “Silk Road Economic Belt” (September) and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” (October,) for world development through cooperative infrastructure and economic development along sea and overland routes, which soon came to be known as the worldwide “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). Within five years, six major rail-centered corridors crossed the Eurasian land mass, with significant projects also underway in Africa, South and Central America, as well as multiple port development projects for maritime connectivity.

The immediate precursor to the BRI concept was the 1990s proposal by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, for a “Eurasian Land-Bridge” of development corridors, later expanded to an intercontinental “World Land-Bridge,” whose key corridors and links are on the map shown here, as published in the 2014 “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” (EIR Special Report, December, 2014).

There is BRI activity now in 152 countries. Achievements to date are marked by both projects completed, and millions of lives changed. Southwest Asia is the region in most pressing need of BRI-associated programs, where the devastation from geopolitical “regime change” strife, extends from Yemen, through the trans-Jordan and across the Tigris-Euphrates Basin.

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The World Land-Bridge Network—Key Links and Corridors

*Committed, underway or completed.

1 *Great Inter-Oceanic Canal, Nicaragua
2 Bering Strait Tunnel
3 Sakhalin Island-Mainland (Russia) Connection
4 Sakhalin-Hokkaido Tunnel
5 *Seikan Tunnel
6 Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel
7 *Bohai Tunnel
8 Strait of Malacca Bridge
9 Sunda Strait Bridge
10 Isthmus of Kra Canal
11 *Bosporus Strait Rail Tunnel
12 *Suez Canal Expansion
13 Italy-Tunisia Link
14 Strait of Gibraltar Tunnel
15 *English Channel Tunnel
16 *Scandinavian-Continental Links

A *Peru-Brazil Transcontinental Railway
B Darien Gap Inter-American Railway
C Alaska-Canada-Lower 48 Rail Line
D The Bering Strait Connector
E Trans-Siberian Corridors
F *Silk Road Economic Belt
G *International North-South Transport Corridor
H *Cross Africa Rail Lines
I Australia Ring Railway
J *Maritime Silk Road
K *Northern Sea Route

Note: Geographical locations and corridors are shown schematically, with more than one railway combined as a single line in cases where major routes are parallel and in proximity. Maps within chapters of this report show greater detail.

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