China is launching a range of blockchain and financial programs in a bid to boost its relationship with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to an announcement today. 

Speaking at Hainan Free Trade Port International Cooperation Forum on Digital Economy and Blockchain, representatives from Chinese crypto exchange Huobi, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries signed an agreement on blockchain technology. 

Through the agreement, countries taking part in the BRI program will work with Huobi to develop and implement next-generation, blockchain-powered financial infrastructure over the coming years. 

The BRI program, led by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is aimed at boosting infrastructure and investments in countries and organizations across Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and America. 

The project will develop a range of roads, railways, ports, nuclear power stations and solar power facilities before 2049, which will mark the country’s 100th anniversary since it became a republic.

At the event, officials also announced the formation of International Cooperation Forum of Blockchain and Digital Finance, a partnership between BRI countries like Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Bahrain Gibraltar and Chinese blockchain firms Huobi and China Zhongke Technology Investment. They’ll work together on creating a resource-sharing platform to accelerate the development of blockchain solutions and encouraging other countries to take part in the global program. 

The news comes as the Hainan Government recently unveiled plans to roll out blockchain solutions across areas such as trade, housing, healthcare and tourism, supported by a 1 billion RMB ($142 million) fund. 

On the whole, China has shown a great interest in blockchain technology in recent times. Last month, Decrypt reported that the Chinese Government launched a national committee for blockchain standards. However, it has also cracked down on crypto exchanges in the region. It looks like its blockchain not bitcoin stance is set to continue.