China plays down India's fear on CPEC and Kashmir

Jon Howard
May 26, 2017

Sharif is leading a high level delegation along with four provincial chief ministers, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir and IT Minister Anushay Rehman, among others to attend the worldwide forum to highlight the Chinese initiative of "One Belt One Road".

The meeting gave Xi a spotlight to raise his standing overseas and at home, where he faces a crucial Communist Party congress later this year.

In a major setback to China, Europian Union has decided not to issue an official statement on its "modern Silk Road" project, said a report.

Earlier Monday, the Chinese leader appealed in a speech to the visiting foreign leaders to pursue "greater openness and cooperation" and to "reject protectionism".

Hailed by Xi as a "project of the century", the plan fits into his bigger narrative that China is setting an example of globalization, filling the void left by the U.S. under Donald Trump's "America First" policy.

"This initiative take into account the latest trends in Eurasia and the global economy, and takes into consideration the need for coordination", Putin said.

Putin described the "One Belt, One Road" initiative to facilitate a 21st-century Silk Road, as a "timely and important which Russian Federation will engage with active participation". "I look forward to visiting China again in the near future".

Addressing concerns that the initiative will become a bonanza for Chinese companies or a strategic play for regional domination, Xi declared that the plan would be open to all countries and would complement each nation's development goals.

It said that its equity oil and gas production exceeded 59 million metric tons in 2016.

Many doubt the motives behind its latest plan.

Manchester bomber's father says his son is innocent
Neighbors recalled him as a tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress and did not talk much. Before his arrest, Abedi's father said he had last spoken to his son five days ago and he sounded "normal".

Tom Rafferty, a China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, agrees.

CPEC is the key artery of China's Belt and Road project that aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa through a network of roads, railway lines and ports.

Indonesia signed three agreements with China, including a loan worth US$4.48 billion from the China Development Bank for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent officials including Takaya Imai, his executive secretary, and Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to represent Japan at the forum.

"If projects are not commercially viable this becomes a very expensive commitment at a time when domestic financial strain is rising", said Gilholm.

Despite staying away from the Beijing showcase, India is involved in the Belt and Road initiative.

The summit comes ahead of a crucial Communist Party congress later this year.

Aziz also praised the Chinese leadership for proposing the BRI.

Explaining the reasons behind India's decision to skip the two-day Belt and Road Forum (BRF) that ended in Beijing on Monday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said: "Guided by our principled position on the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative..."

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