Friday, 16 November, 2018

China's Xi appeals to foreign leaders for freer trade

China's Xi appeals to foreign leaders for freer trade China's Xi appeals to foreign leaders for freer trade
Orlando Vargas | 17 May, 2017, 14:19

Taking its protest over the China's controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is traversing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India on 14 May 2017 boycotted China's high-profile Belt and Road (B&R) Forum.

Located on the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Myanmar is key partner of China under the Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes over land and sea.

I had the privilege of meeting with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and other world leaders and senior officials. Xi said the world must create conditions that promote open development and encourage the building of systems of "fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules".

"The global community, especially those participants showed a very response to the forum.In his speech, President Xi Jinping said the BRI will be built as a peace road and countries should respect the sovereignty and integrity and core interests (of other nations)", she said.

The diplomat said all the European nations taking part in the summit's trade panel collectively made a decision to rebuff the text because they believe it does not sufficiently address European concerns surrounding transparency of public procurement and social and environmental standards.

"Our position is clear that we have always welcomed India to participate in the Belt and Road initiative".

"But it's not an issue".

Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said on Sunday Canberra was receptive to exploring commercial opportunities presented by the initiative, but any decisions would remain incumbent on national interest. "It was a successful, productive and fruitful event", she said.

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India maintains that China has not built an environment of trust to carry out the belt and road projects.

Xi, seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was speaking at a convention center by a lake in northern Beijing on the summit's second and final day.

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

China has signed Belt and Road-related agreements with 68 countries and worldwide organisations.

"In a world of growing interdependency and challenges, no country can tackle the challenges, also the world's problems, on its own", Xi said.

"Under the current worldwide framework, the USA is leading global organizations like the United Nations, the World Bank, and the global Monetary Fund", read a commentary (link in Chinese) in Xiakedao, a WeChat account run by the People's Daily.

The Silk Road Fund is considered the largest investment fund in China, where the Chinese president announced its establishment with a capital of $40bn in December 2014 with the help of financing from some Chinese banks and financial institutions.

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