Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Xi highlights peace, prosperity, opening up of Belt and Road — China Focus

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday the Belt and Road should be built into a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, innovation and connecting different civilizations.

President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and host a round-table leaders' summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday. China has engaged in multiple forms of financial cooperation with countries and organizations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China has touted what it formally calls the Belt and Road initiative as a new way to boost global development since Xi unveiled the plan in 2013, aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. It covers an arc of 65 countries reaching from the South Pacific through South and Central Asia to Europe and Africa. But he also called for economic integration and cooperation on financial regulation, anti-terrorism and security - all fields in which China's economic heft would give it a prominent voice.

"We should build an open platform of co-operation and uphold and grow an open world economy", he said.

This forum will function as a platform for enhancing the Belt and Road construction and have attracted worldwide attention.

Xi pledged a massive funding boost to the new Silk Road, including an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund, 380 billion in loans from two policy banks and 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and global institutions in new Silk Road countries. He said his government will provide aid worth 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) to developing countries and global organizations.

Speaking after Xi, Putin echoed the Chinese president's theme that economic development would help to nurture political stability.

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President Xi and Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, agreed to upgrade ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, and highlighted further areas of cooperation to benefit both countries.

Leaders and officials from various countries including Russia, US, Japan, UK, Germany and France are attending the meeting. The event, which starts on Sunday, will see 28 heads of state and government come to Beijing to participate, many of whom have already arrived in the Chinese capital.

India delivered an implicit criticism of China's plan Saturday in a statement from its foreign ministry that said such an initiative should meet worldwide norms and not create unsustainable debt.

India has strongly objected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs through PoK. New Delhi sees that as an endorsement of Pakistan's control.

PRESIDENT XI Jinping said Sunday that China will contribute an additional 100 billion yuan (US$14.5 billion) to the Silk Road Fund to scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative.

Some diplomats and political analysts say Beijing is trying to create a political and economic network centered on China, push the United States out of the region and rewrite rules on trade and security.

"We should foster a new type of worldwide relations featuring win-win cooperation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance", he said.

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