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China's Xi says Belt and Road summit reaches consensus, achieves positive outcomes

17 May 2017

"It is our hope through the Belt and Road development, we will unleash new economic forces for global growth, build new platforms for global development, and rebalance economic globalization so mankind will move closer to a community of common destiny", Xi said at the close of the event.

Putin and other leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, applauded the initiative, which Xi unveiled in 2013.

The Belt and Road initiative is seen as part of China's answer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, a regional trade pact involving Pacific Rim countries, but excluding China. The "belt" refers to the overland route linking China to Central Asia, Russia and Europe, and the "road" is a maritime channel, connecting the mainland to Southeast Asia, India and Africa.

President Xi Jinping greeted leaders from 29 nations for the two-day summit in Beijing after US and South Korean military officials confirmed that Pyongyang had launched a ballistic missile.

The strategy includes two key areas of development such as economic belt of the Silk Road and the Sea Silk Road.

The initiative spans 65 countries representing 60 percent of the world population and around a third of global gross domestic product.

Other governments welcome Chinese investment in a region that the Asian Development Bank says needs to spend $7 trillion this decade on ports, railways and other trade-related facilities to keep economies growing.

"We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised global norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality".

Hammond offered strong support for what China formally calls the Belt and Road initiative, as he spoke at the opening of a summit on the plan in Beijing.

"As regards the potential debt burden, Pakistan's repayments will peak at around Dollars 5 billion in 2022, but this will be offset by transit fees charged in the CPEC", it quoted a media report and referred to Nepal officially signing a deal with China to join the B&R with plans to build a cross-border rail link that may cost up to USD 8 billion.

Asked about India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay's remarks that India has been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on Belt and Road, Hua said: "I would like you to do me a favour".

Some Western diplomats have expressed unease about the initiative, seeing it as an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally.

She said China always followed the principle of extensive consultation with other countries on the project over which India has sovereignty concerns.

A US delegation attended, led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to Trump and senior director for East Asia at the National Security Council. The United States sent a delegation led by the Asia director of President Donald Trump's National Security Council.

While Xi did not mention North Korea during his speech to the delegates, it was discussed during a bilateral meeting with Putin.