China hosts summit on new Silk Road

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India was the only major country that stayed out of the forum meeting as part of its protest against CPEC, which passes through the disputed areas of Kashmir.

The initiative would provide some of the $7 trillion of investment in infrastructure the Asian Development Bank says the region needs this decade.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said today that all countries should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as he inaugurated the high-profile Belt and Road Forum which India boycotted due to concerns over an economic corridor that runs through PoK.

"Pursuing the Belt and Road initiative, China has no intention to form a small group detrimental to stability", as the pursuit of the initiative requires a peaceful and stable environment, Xi said.

A number of leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan applauded the initiative, which Mr Xi unveiled in 2013 and hailed as "a project of the century".

David Kelly, the director of geopolitics at the Beijing-based consulting firm China Policy, tells The National: "BRI's extension to the USA 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".

According to the experts, countries on the Belt and Road, especially those with underdeveloped infrastructure, low investment rates and per-capita income, could experience a boost in trade flow and benefit from infrastructure development.

Mr Xi urged "a new type of worldwide relations" based on mutually beneficial co-operation and said "we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance".

But, he says, worldwide trade and capital flow is a big part of the ambitious plan, and China is investing many many billions of dollars into it.

A project of the century: that's how China's President Xi Jinping opened the Belt-and-Road Forum.

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Moon expressed his hope to visit Trump and Xi in the near future, pledging cooperation with both in denuclearizing North Korea. The system has angered Beijing , which says its powerful radars allow Washington to spy on its own military operations.

Central to the project in Pakistan is the renovation of the 487-kilometre Karakoram Highway, which is part of China's only land passage to the Middle East.

The United States sent a diplomatic note warning to China on Friday that North Korea's attendance at the summit could affect the participation of other countries, casting a shadow over what is Beijing's biggest diplomatic event of 2017, two sources with knowledge of the situation said.

The China-Europe Railway Express includes 51 rail links connecting 27 Chinese and 28 European cities, with freight trains that offer shorter transport time than sea routes.

China is contriving to build bridges, both literal and metaphorical, which are a great offering to the world and we have no doubt in saying that no conspiracy can deter its resolve to backtrack from its visionary initiative.

Establishment of the Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan.

The initiative spans some 65 countries representing 60 percent of the world population and around a third of global gross domestic product.

Some Belt and Road projects are already raising concerns in certain countries.

Stating that the CPEC has emerged as the core and flagship project of China's OBOR, he said, "OBOR signifies that geo-economics must take precedence over geo-politics and that the centre of gravity should shift from conflict to cooperation".

"This is a continuation of Chinese non-interference", Economist Suman Bery said.

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