China's Xi decries protectionism, touts Silk Road

Nick Mcbride
May 16, 2017

The "One Belt, One Road" strategy aims to strengthen China's influence and trade links to the rest of the world, as well as to boost the economy's investment, according to the Chinese president.

The TPP, touted by the previous U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, has effectively been killed by Trump.

The Russian president also said the proposal was timely and important because the plan looks to create "a zone for economic development and mutually beneficial trade between Asia and Europe".

Twenty-nine (29) leaders of various countries have arrived past nine, Monday morning at the Yanqi Lake, International Convention Center, in Beijing, China to attend the second and the final day of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

When the Belt and Road Forum opened yesterday, what took the breath away was not the pomp and circumstance of the opening ceremony, but the ambitious and strategic vision laid out by its Chinese proponents and managers. -China trade imbalance. However, the team was lacking in cabinet-level clout, featuring as its leader Matt Pottinger, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council.

Chinese officials insist the initiative is purely commercial, but foreign diplomats and political analysts also see an effort by Beijing to promote its own vision of trade and security arrangements and reduce the USA presence in Asia.

Putin and other leaders praised Xi's project. On the same day as Xi and Sharif were having their tete-a-tete, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay stated India's clear opposition to the China-Pakistan economic corridor, saying that any country would refuse to accept a plan that ignored that country's territorial or sovereignty concerns.

European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Monday that EU member states would not be signing ministerial statements connected to the summit, though he downplayed the significance.

"But it's not an issue".

Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta, one of only two African leaders invited to China's One Belt One Road forum in Beijing this week, recently called on China to balance its trade with African countries.

The editorial said, "The worldwide community has shown a very positive response to the infrastructure-building initiative.... East Africa is working with China to develop a standard gauge railway project from Mombasa in Kenya through Uganda to Rwanda and potentially to Burundi and DR Congo", Kayonga said.

"China insists the Kashmir dispute is between India and Pakistan and it has no intention of intervening". But Pottinger warned that the project's success would depend on a number of factors, including "transparency" in government procurement, "high-quality financing" to avoid unsustainable debt burdens and broad participation.

"Unprofitable investments are not good for anybody", said Andras Vertes, chairman of GKI Economic Research.

The Chinese foreign ministry referred to President Xi Jinping's remarks after he inaugurating the BRF in which he had said that the Belt and Road should be built into a road for peace. While officials from the United States and North Korea also joined the global forum.

Other reports by VgToday

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