India skips Belt and Road Summit; Pakistan, China firm on CPEC

"This is indeed a gathering of great minds", Xi said, addressing leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

China opens on Sunday a summit to promote its massive global trade infrastructure project, highlighting Beijing's ambitions to spearhead a new era of globalisation as Washington shifts toward inward-looking policies.

"Britain has for centuries been one of the strongest advocates on an open global trading system".

"We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy", Xi said in his opening address outlining China's vision. 'It features inclusive and sustainable growth and takes into account development needs of different countries and regions for common prosperity, ' he said.

"They are telling us they don't support OBOR and sabotaging our relationships with other countries", he said.

It is about time we rid ourselves of the uni-polar or bi-polar world narratives through a real program of cooperation and partnership through an untold number of bilateral and multilateral connections rather then divide the world between two opposites.

The reason New Delhi has stayed away from Beijing's most important diplomatic event of the year is because the CPEC project passes through Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, which New Delhi says challenges its sovereignty by lending legitimacy to Pakistan's claim over the territory.

Talking about the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister said it is a core project of OBOR that aims to connect the neighbourhoods of East and West Asia. The Kuwaiti paper to be presented at the forum sheds light on mega projects, namely planned construction of the 'silk city, ' developing the Kuwaiti islands and Mubarak Al-Kabeer port. "We have already aligned most of our domestic plans according to One Belt One Road initiative", he said.

The United States sent a delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia at the National Security Council.

The speech built on an image Xi has sought to hone since U.S. President Donald Trump's election as a champion of global free trade, most notably in a January speech in Davos, in the Philippines. "And even non-agriculture products", Lopez added.

Xi also pledged an additional assistance worth 60 billion yuan (USD 9.5 billion) for developing countries and worldwide organisations participating in the initiative to improve people's well-being over the next three years.

The initiative is said to have won the support of more than 100 countries and worldwide organisations, of which at least 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China.

To sustain the projects, Belt and Road nations should allow companies to play a key role, as government resources are limited, Zhou said.

"They are trying to revive that principle of peace, prosperity and development in all these other continents".

Terming China as Pakistan's "close friend and trusted ally", he said his participation at the forum was to celebrate the remarkable success of the seminal initiative of OBOR.

The Belt and Road initiative could be the world's most expensive multi-modal transportation project.

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