One of the principles of the Belt and Road Initiative is its openness to all nations.  Nevertheless, the CGCP team has identified 101 B&R CountriesTM, or countries that are expressly targeted by China in its plans for the BRI or which have taken affirmative steps to indicate their interest and/or involvement in the initiative. For more information about how the CGCP identified these countries, see the CLC SpotlightTM titled “China Law Connect and Belt & Road CountriesTM” in Issue 1 of China Law Connect.
Afghanistan | Albania | Argentina | Armenia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Belarus | Belgium | Bhutan | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Brunei | Bulgaria | Cambodia | Chile | Costa Rica | Croatia | Czech Republic | Denmark | Djibouti | Egypt | Estonia | Ethiopia | France | Georgia | Germany | Ghana | Greece | Hungary | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kenya | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Latvia | Lebanon | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Madagascar | Malaysia | Maldives | Mauritius | Moldova | Mongolia | Montenegro | Morocco | Myanmar | Namibia | Nepal | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Oman | Pakistan | Palestine | Panama | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Poland | Qatar | Romania | Russia | Saudi Arabia | Serbia | Sierra Leone | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | South Korea | Spain | Sri Lanka | Switzerland | Syria | Tajikistan | Tanzania | Thailand | Timor-Leste | Tonga | Tunisia | Turkey | Turkmenistan | Ukraine | United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom | Uruguay | Uzbekistan | Vietnam | Yemen | Zimbabwe
Since the first articulation of the vision by President Xi Jinping while visiting Kazakhstan in September 2013, the idea of a modern-day version of the historical Silk Road has intrigued legal practitioners around the world. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives (official English short name: “The Belt and Road”) run across the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting East Asia’s growing markets at one end with Europe’s developed economies at the other, and everything in between.
Confirming the involvement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in October 2013, China has since reached consensus on the project with multiple countries along the historical route. However, the vision is not limited by geography, as any country interested in the initiatives part of the “Belt and Road” is welcome to participate.
On March 28, 2015, China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce jointly released an action plan on the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in the Belt and Road Initiative, setting forth the foundation for the initiative that promises to change the face of the world.
Central Asia beginnings
President Xi Jinping first proposed that China and Central Asia join hands to build a Silk Road economic belt to boost cooperation while on a state visit to Kazakhstan in 2013.
Laying the foundation
In March 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce released their "Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road".
"We will, on the basis of the principles of voluntarism, equality and mutual benefit, join hands to build a win-win cooperation network for the Belt and Road Initiative featuring pragmatism, enterprise, inclusiveness, mutual learning, openness, innovation and common development, and contribute to the revitalization of the global economy." - President Xi Jinping speaking before the Uzbek Supreme Assembly in June 2016
On June 16, 2015, the Supreme People’s Court issued the Several Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Judicial Services and Safeguards Provided by the People’s Courts for the “Belt and Road” Construction to explain the role of China’s courts in the development of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative. Among the sixteen “guiding opinions” (“指导意见”) included in the document, the Supreme People’s Court specifies that all courts in the country:
- Need to analyze and study in-depth the characteristics and patterns of various cases related to the “Belt and Road” construction, to strengthen judicial interpretations and case guidance, to regulate the exercise of discretion, to unify the application of law, and to provide timely guidance for market activities.
- Need to establish a sound system for [conducting] specific statistical analyses of cases related to the “Belt and Road” [construction], to release typical cases, and to offer timely judicial suggestions and judicial information to relevant authorities and society so as to effectively prevent legal risks.
- Need to establish communication and liaison mechanisms with relevant national and local authorities, to study in-depth the rules of international law and the laws and regulations of countries along the [“Belt and Road”] routes, to put forth forward-looking and responsive strategies, and to enhance the overall force for the advancement of the “Belt and Road” construction.
 《推动共建丝绸之路经济带和21世纪海上丝绸之路的愿景与行动》(Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road), issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, with State Council authorization on Mar. 28, 2015, http://en.ndrc.gov.cn/newsrelease/201503/t20150330_669367.html.