Beijing has reportedly picked a road warrior to oversee the funding end of its ambitious Belt and Road project to connect China with the economies of Central Asia and Europe.

“A senior executive at one of China’s leading insurers has been appointed head of an interim body that is to launch a central government-backed fund to finance projects linked to the “belt and road” initiative,” reported Chinese news agency Caixin on Thursday.

Duan Shiguo, a vice executive president at Taikang Life Insurance, was chosen to create and run the 300-billion yuan China Insurance Investment Fund, according to Caixin’s unnamed source. The fund was given the mandate by the State Council in June to facilitate infrastructure development, including projects linked to the “belt and road” initiatives.

The “Belt and Road” plan is President Xi Jinping’s strategy to increase connectivity and cooperation between Europe and Asia. The project consists of the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the oceanic Maritime Silk Road.

Duan was selected by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), the insurance industry watchdog, because he is well regarded in the industry for his investment acumen, said the source.  According to the plan, insurers would contribute no less than four-fifths of the financing needed for projects at home and abroad. The date to launch the fund has not been set.

Duan will work for the fund and keep his posts at Taikang, which include chief investment officer, the source said. Yang Bohua, an executive member of board of directors at China Life Insurance, will serve as Duan’s deputy.

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