'Pakistan, China to decide any country's CPEC membership'

16 May, 2017, 09:12 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • 'Pakistan, China to decide any country's CPEC membership'

Tanaka Chitsa CorrespondentGLOBAL leaders will meet in mid-May to discuss a new Chinese-led initiative to develop a seamless infrastructure network connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.

Thus, on May 13, India did not send an official delegation to attend the "Belt and Road Forum" in Beijing and instead criticised China's global initiative, warning of an "unsustainable debt burden" for countries involved.

Mr. Xi pledged a massive funding boost to the new Silk Road, including an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund, 380 billion yuan in loans from two policy banks and 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and global institutions in new Silk Road countries.

Guests including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan were greeted by Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, and posed for a group photo before dinner and a gala performance.

The China Development Bank has earmarked US$890 billion for some 900 projects.

Through focus on connectivity of infrastructure including roads, rail links, sea routes, ports, and connectivity of policy, trade and finance, we are observing a phenomenon which has few historical parallels.

The Belt of Road Initiative will greatly contribute to open trade, key to economic prosperity, which will stimulate growth and peace, and which will lead to a win-win situation for all, Mahmood said.

Still, since Mr Trump's election, the United States, which has previously not got involved in most of China's economic initiatives, has changed its stand in an attempt to help American companies win business overseas.

According to Chinese government officials, at least 28 Heads of State and Government from around the world, including the presidents of Ethiopia and Kenya, are expected to attend the two-day forum in Beijing.

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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.

Howard predicts nations on the outside looking in, will join China's ambitious project.

"Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit", Xi said.

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.

He added that the initiative would open up Rwanda to the world more than ever before.

The chairman of the Chinese shipping conglomerate Cosco Xu Lirong told Reuters on the sidelines of the forum that the state-owned conglomerate will sign a deal today with Kazakhstan's national railway company to take a 24 per cent stake in a dry port in the Khorgos Eastern Gates special economic zone.

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

China is reportedly establishing some military bases in Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory whose sovereignty is disputed, said the founder of the Gilgit-Baltistan Thinkers Forum, Wajahat Khan.

While opening the two-day Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said "all countries should respect sovereignty" and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said CPEC had no "geographical boundaries".

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