Xi positions China as champion of globalisation as U.S. turns inwards

Xi pledged 100 billion yuan ($14.5bn) to China's Silk Road Fund, 380 billion yuan in loans from two policy banks (the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China), as well as 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries worldwide bodies that are part of the Belt and Road project.

PM Sharif, who had arrived in the Chinese capital on Friday to participate in the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) forum, said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) must not be politicised, adding that the corridor remains open to all countries.

The countries agreed that "we stand for enhancing worldwide cooperation including the Belt and Road Initiative and various development strategies".

"In a world of growing interdependency and challenges, no country can tackle the challenges, also the world's problems, on its own", Xi said. One of the criticisms of the Silk Road plan is that host countries may struggle to pay back loans for huge infrastructure projects being carried out and funded by Chinese companies and banks.

India skipped the meeting due to its sovereignty concerns over the Dollars 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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

"The Belt and Road initiative is one of the mechanisms for infrastructural development".


Meanwhile, addressing a high-level dialogue held on the sidelines of the Forum, Prime Minister Hailemariam said China is playing a critical role in global development and remains a key partner for growth and prosperity across the developing world.

Mr. Xi emerged as the new defender of globalisation, countering the resistance to open economic borders in the USA and parts of Europe, with a solid integrative plan, during his address to 29 world leaders and representatives from countries across the continents. The plan involves the creation of six economic corridors including CPEC crisscrossing different parts of Asia and Europe.

The plan, which aims to expand trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, was first unveiled in 2013.

Touted as the biggest diplomatic event initiated by China, the inaugural Belt and Road Forum saw the attendance of some 1,500 government officials and experts from more than 130 countries.

Xi told a meeting of 29 state and government heads that China will keep its "Belt and Road Initiative" an open and inclusive platform.

The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative is in full swing, said Xi, adding that 68 countries and worldwide organizations have signed multilateral agreements with China. The Corridor, a cluster of road, rail and energy projects, will connect Pakistan's southern Gwadar port city on the Arabian Sea and Kashgar in China's far-western western Xinjiang province. He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with worldwide trade and investment sluggish, and economic globalisation encountering headwinds.

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