Li Keqiang participated in the 7th 16 + 1 Framework Heads of State Summit held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The 16 + 1 mechanism brings together China and sixteen states of Central and Eastern Europe and aims to strengthen relations between the two regions.
A new route through Caucasus may be added to the various corridors of the Belt and Road initiative. In April 2017, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a protocol on a future Trans-Caspian International Transport route. Other regional states such as