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China builds more amicable vibrant neighborhood with Belt and Road Initiative

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- With the formal establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Christmas Day, China's drive to advance the Belt and Road Initiative is wrapping up a year of fruitful progress, particularly in its neighborhood.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

The vision, once realized, will directly benefit 4.4 billion people, or 63 percent of the global population.

So far, over 60 countries and international organizations have expressed interest in active involvement in the construction of the Belt and the Road, while a number of major bilateral and multilateral projects have been under way.

As many of China's neighbors are located along the routes, they will be not only primary partners of cooperation, but also major beneficiaries of the initiative, which fully embodies the fundamental principles of Beijing's neighborhood diplomacy: amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.