A bullet train drives in Liuzhou City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, July 15, 2017. China has built one of the world's most extensive high-speed rail networks in just a few years. It has the world's longest high-speed rail network, 22,000 km as of the end of 2016, or 60 percent of the world's total, and the mileage will increase to 45,000 km by 2030. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road amounted to 786 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.
The volume was a 15-percent increase from the same period last year, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a press conference.
From January to September, Chinese businesses directly invested 9.6 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the Belt and Road, up 29.7 percent year on year.
Investments made by Belt and Road countries in China stood at 4.24 billion U.S. dollars, up 34.4 percent year on year.
Chinese businesses have helped build 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, generating over 209,000 jobs, according to Gao.
The Belt and Road is a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along -- and beyond -- the ancient Silk Road trade routes. The modern version comprises an overland Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.