China says 68 countries, global organizations have signed OBOR pacts

Candice Alexander
May 17, 2017

It calls for expanding trade across Asia, Africa and Europe with multibillion-dollar investments in ports, railways and other facilities, but governments including Russia, Washington and India are uneasy Beijing also is using it to gain political influence.

Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the Leaders' Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing on May 15, 2017.

The two-day Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as OBOR (One Belt, One Road) project, summit in Beijing has raised apprehensions about Chinese ambitions across the world.

A joint statement by the leaders appeared to be crafted to defuse fears Beijing is trying to create a China-dominated bloc and rewrite global trade rules.

The Guardian also highlighted Xi attempt to contrast himself with US President Donald Trump.

The list also highlighted China's promises to scale up financing support for the initiative, including expanding the Silk Road Fund by 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion U.S. dollars), encouraging financial institutions to conduct overseas fund business in RMB with an estimated amount of about 300 billion yuan (about 43.5 billion USA dollars) and providing replenishment of one billion United States dollars to the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund.

Trump's plan to focus on domestic issues and downplay foreign affairs has given Beijing an opening to try to play a bigger leadership role in trade, climate and other global issues.

He also expressed confidence in the prospect of the Belt and Road Initiative, when he wrapped up the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

He pointed out that the initiative is firmly supported by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

At a separate press conference in Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said China's Belt and Road Initiative was "timely" as the global community face growing instability.

Xi's signature foreign policy, the Belt and Road initiative, will not base cooperation on ideological grounds but will be open and inclusive, the Chinese president told reporters at a closing function.

India gave the grand event a miss, opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key component of the Belt and Road project.

The minister, Delfin Lorenzana, said the Chinese government was offering a loan "at the tune of about $500 million" to finance the purchases.

Other reports by VgToday

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