China presents its "Silk Road" project to the world

Leaders from more than 20 countries, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, are attending the Beijing summit on China's new Silk Road plan, dubbed as the Belt and Road Forum.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, China, May 14, 2017.

Beijing is holding an international summit on China's new Silk Road plan, dubbed as the Belt and Road Forum, aimed at getting international support to build the world's largest  infrastructure project.

While opening the summit on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $124 billion on Sunday for his ambitious new Silk Road plan to forge a path of peace, inclusiveness and free trade, and called for the abandonment of old models based on rivalry and diplomatic power games.

Xi said that free trade is an important engine for development and the world economy needs new drivers for development.

He added that the new Silk Road plan is open to everyone, including Africa and Europe. The initiative will help China boost its trade, by better-connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road  trading routes.

The Chinese president also pledged 60 billion yuan ($8.70 billion) in aid to countries and international organisations participating in its new Silk Road plan. 

TRT World's Dan Epstein reports from Beijing.

Leaders from more than 20 countries including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are attending the summit.

Speaking at the opening summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that protectionism is a threat to the global economy.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing on May 14, 2017. (AFP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping also held a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the sidelines of the meeting. 

Xi told Erdogan that Turkey and China should deepen counter-terrorism cooperation and that developing strategic cooperation was in the interests of both countries, China's foreign ministry said late on Saturday.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 13, 2017. (Reuters)

"In order to promote even greater development of relations, China and Turkey must respect and give consideration to each other's core concerns, and deepen security and counter-terrorism cooperation," the ministry cited Xi as saying.

Meanwhile, Pakistan signed new deals with China on Saturday worth nearly $500 million ahead of Beijing's international forum on its "Silk Road" trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said.


Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 13, 2017. (Reuters)

The memorandums of understanding add to $57 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure that is part of the wider Chinese project also known as the Belt and Road initiative, or One Belt, One Road.

The deals came as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Beijing summit.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies