China's Xi outlines plans for wide cooperation in trade plan

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"Trade is the important engine of economic development", Mr Xi said at a summit of world leaders in Beijing.

India is the only major country that did not participate in the BRI event.

It described as odd and a contradiction that India cares about its neighbours' debt burden, but those very neighbours appeared to be willing to take on more. But that will not stop China from trying to persuade India to join the program to build connectivity infrastructure.

"It is regrettable but not a problem that India still maintains its strong opposition, even though China has repeatedly said its position on the Kashmir dispute would not change because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)", said the article written by Global Times reporter Wang Jiamei.

Kelly does not think India would lose much by not showing up.

At the start of the gathering Sunday, Xi pledged additional financing for the initiative totaling 780 billion yuan ($113 billion).

He praised the Initiative saying "it is the largest and non-conflicting economic cooperation of the 21st century, unique in its vision and set to leveraging from Chinese rapid economic growth and best practices".

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This edition of the forum was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif, his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickramasinghe.

"And ultimately how much political sovereignty is sacrificed, and what is the risk to completion of projects in the event of a disorderly slowdown in the domestic Chinese economy", said the USA investment firm specializing in frontier and illiquid markets. It was in this backdrop that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his address to the preliminary session of the Forum, declared that the CPEC was open to all countries in the region and it must not be politicised.

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. Critics also contend that China intends to export its overcapacity.

Thanks, or no thanks, to President Donald Trump's "America first" stance, his protectionist trade agenda is probably helping China to expand its global influence and win over more allies. He offered funds for poverty eradication and health centers in developing countries besides allocating money for infrastructure construction. BRI is at once an economic stimulus for China's domestic economy as it is a quest for raising its global standing.

Leaders from 29 countries, as well as the heads of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, are attending the forum.

Pakistan has been a flagship country and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the One Belt-One Road initiative, in part because many projects are for power plants to alleviate the country's decade-long energy-shortage crisis that sees frequent blackouts.

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

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