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The energy sector accounted for about $11.9 billion or almost 43% of China's total economic engagement with other countries under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the first half of this year. The initiative was launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to promote overseas investment in infrastructure by Chinese companies. The energy sector has been the biggest beneficiary of such investment in most years since its launch. The BRI is tracked by the Green Finance and Development Center at Shanghai's Fudan University, which defines "engagement" as the combined value of direct investment by Chinese companies and construction contracts awarded to them. Engagement in natural gas accounted for 56% of the energy subtotal during the first half of this year, while oil and solar/wind each grabbed an 18% share, according to the center's latest report. "Many of these energy and resources projects include massive construction demand, from energy facilities to logistics infrastructures," risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft's head of energy and resources Kaho Yu told Energy Intelligence. "They are not merely about securing energy supplies, but also about advancing the infrastructure connectivity in the BRI."

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