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

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Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Sunday that China will invest $124 billion in a massive global trade project - the Belt and Road initiative.

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

Sharif said so as India skipped China's Belt and Road Summit.

At the opening ceremony, Xi promised to provide $8.70 billion in aid to countries and worldwide organizations that participate in the Silk Road plan.

Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, "One Belt, One Road" which was later renamed as "Belt and Road Initiative".

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship programme of OBOR.

In addition, he said that China would encourage financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan. On Saturday, India gave a clear indication of not participating in the summit and released an official statement saying that "India can not accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity".

"This great initiative constitutes a suitable framework to enhance common development among all countries under the initiative", said Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, also an official in charge of maintaining China-Sudan relations. White House adviser Matt Pottinger explained that the USA supports China's efforts to promote integration and development through its Belt and Road project, Reuters revealed.

India's decision to boycott the BRF, as a mark of protest against the infringement of its sovereignty by the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), provided Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif an opportunity to appear magnanimous at the conclave.

But some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally. "We have no intention to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, export our own social system or model of development, or impose our own will on others".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras-"As a country with a rich cultural heritage and the world leader in the tourist industry, we highly value the importance of this initiative for people-to-people contacts, cultural exchanges and tourism".

The B&R is a grand economic cooperation and development plan open to everyone, and is aimed at improving infrastructure in countries along the B&R route, thus benefiting the local people, it said.

At the forum, finance ministries from 27 countries including China approved a set of principles that will guide project financing along the new Silk Road.

Sharif said the Belt and Road "rejected the encirclement for any country. We are also looking forward to promoting the cooperation with the European Union and the countries of Europe", Putin said while addressing the leaders of 29 other countries.

German economy minister Brigitte Zypries echoed calls for transparency to ensure that the calls for bids are "non-discriminatory".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan-"This is going to be the kind of initiative that will put an end to terrorism".

Sunday's event showed China's eagerness to expand BRI into a major trade and development initiative instead of restricting it to infrastructure construction.

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