Beijing CNN-China on Tuesday kicked off a summit marking the 10th anniversary of its Belt and Road Initiative-an ambitious yet controversial undertaking to boost connectivity and trade across the world with Chinese money and know-how in infrastructure development.
World leaders including Russia's Vladimir Putin are gathering in Beijing for the high-profile event, which takes place in the shadow of a spiraling war between Israel and Hamas.
Since its launch by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has poured hundreds of billions of dollars to power the construction of bridges, ports, highways, power plants and telecoms projects across Asia, Latin America, Africa and parts of Europe.
Originally envisioned as an overland "belt" and a maritime "road" connecting China with Europe and Africa, the BRI has funded infrastructure and energy projects across the developing world.
Bankrolled by China's development banks as well as state-run commercial lenders, Chinese construction firms have paved highways from Papua New Guinea to Kenya, constructed ports from Sri Lanka to West Africa, and provided power and telecoms infrastructure from Latin America to Southeast Asia.
Beijing says more than 150 nations have signed cooperation agreements under the auspices of BRI, with commitments made for more than 3,000 projects and "up to one trillion dollars of investment mobilized."
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