China to invest $800 bn in Belt & Road in five years

15 May, 2017, 02:36 | Author: Ora Austin

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey also spoke at the opening ceremony. The two-day meeting that started Sunday gives the Chinese president a platform to promote his image as a global leader and free trade advocate in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has called for import restrictions.

The draft communique backed "upholding the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core".

The United States sent a diplomatic note warning to China on Friday that North Korea's attendance at the summit could affect the participation of other countries, casting a shadow over what is Beijing's biggest diplomatic event of 2017, two sources with knowledge of the situation said. While CPEC is highlighted as "flagship project", the B&R includes the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, New Eurasian Land Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

On the other hand, he stated the country will contribute an extra $100 billions CNY (about $14.5 billions USD) to the Silk Road Fund.

Xi, outlining China's vision of a new inter-connected world that his signature Belt and Road (B&R) initiative seeks to achieve, spoke about the significance of various ancient civilisations, including "the Indus and Ganges civilisations". Such a broad sweep and scale of interlocking economic partnerships and investments is unprecedented in history.

Close neighbour India skipped China's mega Belt and Road Forum which began here on Sunday, signalling its strong opposition to the multi-million dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Governments from Washington to New Delhi worry that Beijing is using the initiative to build its own political influence and erode theirs, or that China might undermine environmental standards or leave poor countries burdened with debt. They are also concerned about transparency and access for foreign firms to the scheme.

"Our first priority is railway, and second will be hydropower projects and cross-border transmission lines between Nepal and China", he said.

In his speech, Xi said Belt and Road initiative focuses on the Asian, European and African countries, but is also open to all other countries. "And the world is used to the old colonial countries like the U.S. and Britain but the world is not accustomed to China", El-Shahat said.

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"It is my belief that Britain, lying at the western end of the Belt and Road, is a natural partner in this endeavour", he said, reported Reuters.

Chinese investments related to the Belt and Road initiative have totalled $60 billion since 2013, and Beijing plans to invest $600 billion to $800 billion in the next five years, an official said here.

"China says it will treat other countries as family and friends, but many countries don't trust [those words]".

"OBOR belongs to all of us, those who are participating and those who are not as yet".

Named after the historic Silk Road, the Belt and Road initiative was proposed by Xi in 2013 to chart out new territories for global cooperation.

The president urged the Belt and Road to be built into a road of prosperity.

Last October the Chief Executive returned to the Philippines from his four-day state visit in China with $24 billion of investment commitments from Beijing, including $15 billion worth of investment projects and $9 billion in credit facilities.

Pichet Durongkaveroj, Thailand's minister of digital economy and society, said it would take time for the belt and road concept to develop.


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