Chinese media warn India over Belt and Road project
While officials from the United States and North Korea also joined the global forum.
India would have joined “very happily” in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative of China, said Sarath Amanugama, Sri Lanka’s Minister on Special Assignment.
Heads of state and government and officials of global organisations arrived at the Beijing Yanqi Lake worldwide Convention Centre, the main venue of the Belt and Road Forum for worldwide Cooperation, to attend the Leaders’ Round-table Summit.
The Belt and Road Forum has got off to an excellent start, which is a good sign.
Xi on Sunday opened the two-day meeting by pledging 540 billion yuan (US$78 billion) in financing, including 100 billion yuan for China’s Silk Road Fund, 380 billion yuan in new lending for participating nations and 60 billion yuan in coming years to developing countries and global organizations that join the program.
The CPEC, a cluster of road, rail and energy projects, will connect Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and Kashgar in China’s far western Xinjiang province.
Speaking to reporters at the Yanqi Lake resort, the forum venue on the outskirts of Beijing, Mr Xi said that the gathering had sent a “positive message” to the rest of the world.
Aall key parties involved in the Korean Peninsula issue, including the United States and North and South Korea, also attended the forum.
The fund for the project comes from China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China, which have collectively provided $200 billion in loans throughout Asia, the Middle East and even Africa already.
In its diplomatic note to China’s Foreign Ministry, the USA embassy in Beijing said the invitation to North Korea sends the wrong message at a time leaders all over the world are trying to pressure Pyongyang over its repeated nuclear and missile tests.
They noted the challenges faced by the world economy and welcomed the initiative to improve connectivity between Asia and Europe. The country’s minister of economic affairs and energy, Brigitte Zypries, called for greater transparency in tenders, adherence to worldwide standards, and the creation of a level playing field for all companies and countries involved, after expressing concerns that the tenders could all be snapped up by Chinese firms.
As per media reports, a few European countries have also expressed their reservations and refused to sign on the agreement under New Silk road.
Xi tried to mollify concern about a potential Chinese-dominated trade bloc by saying “Belt and Road” is meant to be an “open and inclusive platform for development”.
Jörg Wuttke, outgoing president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, said last week that many foreign firms still face major regulatory barriers and limits to market access in China.
Germany asked for more transparency. The $46 billion corridor passes through Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-administered Kashmir that New Delhi claims as its own. The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.