Xi to promote 21st Century Maritime Silk Road


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said a few days ago that China will use the Belt and Road forum to build a more open and efficient worldwide cooperation platform; a closer, stronger partnership network; and to push for a more just, reasonable and balanced global governance system.

The May 14-15 summit is seen as a measure of China's worldwide prestige at a time when Xi has positioned China as a rising outward-looking regional power, and as questions have arisen over President Donald Trump's commitment to maintaining the United States' traditional global leadership.

France and Germany have major elections around the time of the Belt and Road Forum, to be held May 14-15.

The 28 top leaders who have so far indicated their willingness to attend include those from Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam, according to Wang.

Xi said the Belt and Road Initiative, the official name for the multi-billion dollar Silk Road projects, has been widely recognised in worldwide society since it was put forward which shows that it accords with the will of the people.

The World Bank Group is and will continue working closely with the Chinese government on the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the chief of the global financial institution.

China was privately upset in 2015 after most Western leaders rebuffed invitations to attend a big military parade through Beijing marking 70 years since the end of World War Two.

But a list of attendees announced by Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday included only one leader from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who took over in December after his predecessor quit following a crushing defeat in a reform referendum.

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China said 28 countries have agreed to send heads of states and governments while 64 other countries will send officials.

"In fact, China, Russia and Central Asian countries have made significant progress in implementing the One Belt, One Road Initiative".

A section of the New Silk Road is in Pakistan, where some projects run through the disputed Kashmir region.

Since 2013, China has invested more than 50 billion dollars in countries involved in the Belt and Road.

He said since President Duterte visited Beijing previous year, over 1,000 Chinese tourist groups have visited the Philippines and China has imported over 2,000 tons of tropical fruits from the country. "I want to reaffirm this to our Indian friends", he said at a press conference in Beijing.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was widely expected to attend as part of her efforts to strengthen Britain's business and diplomatic links with China in the post-Brexit era.

A senior Indonesian government official said China was aiming for a "spectacular" summit.