PH ready to take part in China's Silk Road initiative

Among the leaders at the forum is Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who met with Xi on Saturday which saw him signing new deals with China worth almost $500 million United States dollars.

Chinese President Xi Jinping saidtoday that all countries should respect each other'ssovereignty and territorial integrity, as he inaugurated thehigh-profile Belt and Road Forum which India boycotted due toconcerns over an economic corridor that runs through PoK.

The May 14-15 forum is being attended by 29 heads of state and government, besides delegates from around 130 countries.

"In my view, Belt and Road is meant to create greater economic interdependence between China and its neighbours, which Beijing hopes will translate into increased political influence", said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Some of China's most reliable allies and partners are present in the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He'll be spruiking his signature economic and foreign policy - a grand scheme to build railways, fast trains, ports and other infrastructure across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

The project, unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013, spans some 65 countries representing 60 per cent of the world's population and around a third of global gross domestic product.

The initiative would provide some of the US$7 trillion of investment in infrastructure the Asian Development Bank said the region needs this decade.

In another bid to allay Indias concerns, Chinese ambassador to New Delhi Luo Zhaohui, during an address at a think tank in New Delhi, had offered to rename the CPEC, insisting that it was an economic cooperation and connectivity enhancement project devoid of "sovereignty issues". But it could also serve Beijing's geopolitical ambitions.

Joining them was a small delegation from North Korea, despite recent strained ties between Beijing and Pyongyang over the latter's nuclear program.

The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement it opposed such missile tests and it called for restraint from all parties. "It is time we transcend our differences, resolve conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy, and leave a legacy of peace for future generations", he said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow", she said in a briefing with the press on the sidelines of the gathering.

He warned that "isolation results in backwardness".

- An additional US$14.5 billion to the Silk Road Fund. He also urged financial institutions to contribute 100 billion yuan.

Zhongguancun, known as "China's Silicon Valley", has set up the Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association as a service platform to boost worldwide cooperation. "Britain has for centuries been one of the strongest advocates of an open global trading system", he said. "We are looking forward to the One Belt One Road initiative in promoting a prosperous and peaceful community of nations", it added.

Some Belt and Road projects are raising concerns in certain countries.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs over the weekend endorsed the Philippines's participation in China's ambitious Belt and Road initiative, highlighting the program's potential to boost infrastructure development in the Philippines and foster inclusive economic growth throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region.


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