By Our Reporter
The two-day summit on One Belt One Road Initiatives that kicked off in Beijing on Sunday brought the world leaders together.
From Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkish President RecepTayyipErdogan and several other influential leaders and ministers from 29 countries attended the summit that was opened by Chinese President Xi Jingping.
In his in augural speech, the Chinese President called for closer cooperation across Asia and Europe in areas from anti-terrorism to finance.
The two-day summit showcased Xi’s One Belt, One Road initiative, a revival of the ancient Silk Road trade route, first unveiled in 2013, reported the news agencies stating that all the leaders of the participating countries agreed to promote a Chinese trade initiative that could increase Beijing’s global influence on trade and geopolitics.
Xi has pledged $124 billion in funds for the initiative, which seeks to connect China with Africa, Asia, and Europe through a network of ports, railways, roads, and industrial parks.
Xi assured Western diplomats that the plan was not simply an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally.
“In advancing the Belt and Road, we will not retread the old path of games between foes. Instead we will create a new model of cooperation and mutual benefit,” Xi said, according to AP.
Xi also pledged $8.7 billion in aid to countries and international organizations that participate in the Silk Road plan. Xi said the project was open to everyone, including those in Europe and Africa.
Putin, speaking at the opening of the summit, told participants that protectionism was a threat to the global economy.
Putin also complained about “illegal sanctions,” a possible reference to a series of Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Few Western leaders are attending the summit, although Britain, France, and Germany are represented by top finance officials. The United States sent a senior White House adviser.
Also attending the summit are Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyaev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Kyrgyz President AlmazbekAtambaev, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and Serbian Prime Minister AleksandarVucic.
However, India, the arch rival of China,skipped the Summit.
Ahead of Beijing’s international forum, Pakistan signed new deals with China worth nearly $500 million.