China's Xi says Belt and Road needs to reject protectionism

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony in Beijing

World leaders Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rodrigo Duterte and other state and government leaders have gathered at an global event for an economic trade cooperation initiated by China.

In the second session of round table conference the leaders will discuss "Connectivity cooperation for inter connected development".

Pakistan signed new deals with China on Saturday worth almost $500 million ahead of Beijing's worldwide forum on its "Silk Road" trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said.

Taking a strong stance, India hasn't sent an official delegation to attend the "Belt and Road Forum" in Beijing criticizing China's global initiative, warning of an "unsustainable debt burden" for countries involved.

President Xi Jinping laid the framework for Chinese-style globalization and his ambition to lead it in a speech inaugurating his cornerstone diplomatic initiative for a new Silk Road. Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs and financiers from over 130 countries and representatives of key global organizations, such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Managing Director of the worldwide Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

President Xi also emphasized that his government would encourage financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan ($45 billion) for the project.

Mr Xi said that China had "no desire to impose our will on others" but instead stood ready to foster development by putting up extra funding for Belt and Road projects.

Leaders from 29 countries are attending the forum, which ends on Monday.

He denied any attempts by China to form a "small group" of nations through the initiative and said China plans to build "a road for peace" and link itself to much of Asia, Europe and Africa through the ambitious initiative.

The US-based organisation said Chinese authorities have "heightened surveillance and repression to prevent potential unrest that could impede" Belt and Road plans in the western Xinjiang region.

According to the draft communique, the participating nations in the two-day forum agreed to promote "practical cooperation on roads, railways, ports, maritime and inland water transport, aviation, energy pipeline, electricity and telecommunications".

Many developing countries along the trade routes have welcomed the initiative even as some are wary of China asserting its influence. He said, "In these times, when the temptation is great to respond to the crisis of globalisation by increasing isolation, and by raising walls, this initiative highlights a vision of connectivity, cooperation and dialogue across Europe and Asia but also other parts of the world".

Mr. Xi said the new Silk Road would be open to all, including Africa and the Americas, which are not situated on the traditional Silk Road.

Some diplomats and political analysts say Beijing is trying to create a political and economic network centered on China, push the United States out of the region and rewrite rules on trade and security.

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