China Pledges $124 Billion for Silk Road Plan, Says Everyone Welcome

Recep Tayyip Erdogan Nawaz Sharif
China Pledges $124 Billion for Silk Road Plan, Says Everyone Welcome
Author

16 May, 2017

The "Visions and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road" announced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a development policy with a holistic vision of economic, political and security development to reach out and initiate joint action to build a new world order that is development-oriented, for mutual prosperity and human security.

China was basking in praise on Monday for its new Silk Road even as some countries raised concerns over the project seen as boosting Beijing's global clout on trade and geopolitics.

India is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan.

In addition, Xi pledged about additional $14 billion for the construction of the Belt and Road project, of which CPEC is the chief component.

The 45-minute-long address by the 63-year-old Chinese president came a day after India made it clear that it will not attend the two-day B&R Forum that began in Beijing today.

Mahbubur Rashid, a senior journalist of The Financial Express, Bangladesh's well-known English financial daily newspaper, said the Belt and Road Initiative will help the developing countries.

"We should foster a new type of worldwide relations featuring win-win cooperation; we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship, rather than alliance", he said.

"China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a core component of your visionary initiative of the "One Belt-One Road", Sharif told Xi when they met at the Great Hall of China on Saturday, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Despite China's public defense of free trade, Beijing faces mounting complaints that the government is hampering or reducing market access to foreign companies.

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But not all countries are roused by the China-led project.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also spoke at the ceremony.

"We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy", Xi said.

China will launch 100 "happy home" projects, 100 poverty alleviation projects and 100 health care and rehabilitation projects in countries along the Belt and Road.

"It is time we transcended our differences, resolve conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy and leave a legacy of peace for future generations", he said at the event with 29 heads of states and governments and 1,500 delegates in attendance.

North Korea relies heavily on trade with China for its economic survival, and US President Donald Trump has urged Xi to use that leverage to put pressure on Pyongyang.

He also pledged $8bn in aid to developing countries and global organization along the belt and road for education and humanitarian work.

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

A spokesman for its foreign ministry also said there were concerns about host countries taking on too much debt to fund Silk Road infrastructure. Chinese banks have set up 62 branches and offices in 26 countries along the BRI routes in the past four years, he said. We expect that other media groups will also follow the suit and there is need to hold more seminars and conferences that present true picture of the CPEC and remove all misgivings.


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