Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Belt and Road Forum in Beijing to Turn Tensions Into Cooperation

Belt and Road Forum in Beijing to Turn Tensions Into Cooperation

"Washington's participation in the Belt and Road initiative will have knock-on effects, encouraging its allies to see the initiative from a more rational and objective perspective, and thus help win Beijing and its infrastructure projects more global understanding and influence".

"We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized global norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality", he said in a statement.

Countering China's expansionary tactics is important for India as the OBOR continental and maritime routes are of strategic concern for India both in terms of national security and also due to economic reasons.

According to Xinhua, 68 countries and worldwide organizations signed cooperation deals with China to carry forward the Belt and Road.

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"It is our hope that through the "Belt and Road" development, we will unleash new forces for global economic growth", Xi told reporters at a conference center in the hills north of the Chinese capital. China has defended globalisation at a time when the United States (US) is retreating into "America First" policies on trade and foreign relations under President Donald Trump. He also underscored that the One Belt One Road connectivity initiative, which would cover Asia, Europe and Africa, would back green and low-carbon development. "But we should look beyond the differences and concentrate on shared interests for development", the Chinese diplomat said.

The deals came as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Beijing summit expected to be attended by leaders from at least 29 countries to promote Xi's vision of expanding trade links.

"Our ambition is for more trade not less trade, and China clearly shares this ambition".

A total of $46 billion Chinese investment was pledged then.

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Earlier Monday, the Chinese leader appealed in a speech to the visiting foreign leaders to pursue "greater openness and cooperation" and to "reject protectionism".

Government officials from New Delhi did not travel, Indian officials said, although scholars from Indian think-tanks have flown to Beijing to attend some of the meetings at the forum. British finance minister Philip Hammond said London was "ready to work with all Belt and Road partner countries to make a success of this initiative".

As well as the corridor through Pakistan, India is anxious more broadly about China's economic and diplomatic expansion through Asia, and in particular across countries and waterways that it considers to be its sphere of influence.

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