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China's Xi says Silk Road plan boosts finance, security ties

15 May 2017

"Although the Northern Australia initiative is separate to the Belt and Road Initiative, there are clearly complementarities there", he told reporters in Beijing, where he is representing Australia at a summit on the new Silk Road.

'The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization, ' he said.

Stating that CPEC has emerged as core and flagship project of China's One Belt and One Road (OBOR), he said, "OBOR signifies that geo-economics must take precedence over geo-politics and that the centre of gravity should shift from conflict to cooperation". Other delegates at the forum include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and journalists from over 130 countries, and representatives of key global organisations. The plan, which was first released in 2013, intends to expand trade relationships between Asia, Africa, and Europe. By linking countries and regions that account for about 60 percent of the world's population and 30 percent of global GDP, the initiative is a ideal example of #China offering its own wisdom and solutions to global governance, said Wang Yiwei, a professor at the School of International Relations at Renmin University of China.

Hotspots in some regions are causing instability and terrorism is rampant. "This is the issue that has always been on my mind", he said.

Closer economic integration "should change the very political and economic landscape of the continent, bringing Eurasia stability, prosperity", said Putin. Now a catchphrase both domestically and overseas, the Belt and Road Initiative is essentially a new inclusive platform on which countries in Eurasia and beyond can strengthen economic and cultural cooperation to achieve common prosperity.

With the Belt and Road Initiative, China wants to turn the legends of the ancient Silk Road into a modern story of inclusive growth and cross-continental cooperation. It covers an arc of 65 countries reaching from the South Pacific through South and Central Asia to Europe and Africa. "It's a major trade initiative", he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said today that all countries should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as he inaugurated the high-profile Belt and Road Forum which India boycotted due to concerns over an economic corridor that runs through PoK.

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Chinese companies have set up 56 economic cooperation zones in over 20 countries, generating some 1.1 billion dollars of tax revenue and 180,000 local jobs.

"Some of China´s most reliable allies and partners will attend the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev".

The new financing that he promised on Sunday includes 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) for the Silk Road Fund and lending schemes worth 380 billion yuan.

So far, the initiative has won support from more than 100 countries and global organisations, of which over 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China.

India refused to send an official delegation to Beijing, reflecting displeasure with China for developing a $57 billion trade corridor through Pakistan that also crosses the disputed territory of Kashmir.

"The forum shows the world how far China has come towards its dream of national rejuvenation", said Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.