China pledges $124 billion for new Silk Road, says open to everyone

The two-day event is the highest-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative since the Chinese president first raised the concept in 2013.

India has reservations about the project because it passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir, which India says challenges its sovereignty by lending legitimacy to Pakistan's claim over the territory.

But he cautioned "all countries should respect each others' sovereignty. and territorial integrity".

There are also several European leaders attending, including the prime ministers of Spain, Italy, Greece and Hungary.

"Civilization project for the future", as Putin called the New Silk Road, should bring stability and prosperity along its way.

Xi told the audience of almost 1,500 that the pursuit of the initiative "requires a peaceful and stable environment".

China will cultivate new domestic markets such as cultural and business tourism while enhancing cooperation with other countries in tourism insurance and market regulation, according to Li.

Howard predicts nations on the outside looking in, will join China's ambitious project.

Beijing is hosting a high-level global cooperation forum, dubbed "One Belt, One Road", which brings together dozens of heads of state and government, along with financial organizations and hundreds of business representatives and entrepreneurs.


The two-day meeting included Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and presidents or prime ministers from Italy, Hungary and Greece, as well as most of China's Asian neighbors, but no major Western leaders.

David Kelly, the director of geopolitics at the Beijing-based consulting firm China Policy, tells The National: "BRI's extension to the U.S. may have been sold to Trump as a concession made by Beijing, similar to pledged investment by [the Chinese internet major] Alibaba's [founder and chairman] Jack Ma, with eventual announceables of new manufacturing jobs and construction projects". Other delegates include officials, entrepreneurs and journalists from over 130 countries.

During the address, Xi pledged to pump in an additional United States dollars 124 billion for projects that are part of the initiative.

Through focus on connectivity of infrastructure including roads, rail links, sea routes, ports, and connectivity of policy, trade and finance, we are observing a phenomenon which has few historical parallels.

North Korea relies heavily on trade with China for its economic survival, and US President Donald Trump has urged Xi to use that leverage to put pressure on Pyongyang.

In addition, Mr. Xi said China would encourage financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan.

Named after the ancient Silk Road, the Belt and Road, or the One Belt, One Road initiative, was proposed by Xi in 2013 to chart out new territories for global cooperation. "Instead we will create a new model of cooperation and mutual benefit". "The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization".

"India was openly sceptical of China's Belt and Road Forum (BRF) hours ahead of the opening of the event, mainly due to concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key project of the Belt and Road, and whether it might influence the disputed Kashmir region", it said.


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