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China pledges $124 billion for new Silk Road plan

China pledges $124 billion for new Silk Road plan

The visionary initiative of One Belt, One Road in fact is not only beneficial for Pakistan and China but it will also serve as a boon for other developing countries.

"We see much merit in the Belt and Road Initiative, we see opportunities for collaboration, but we take decisions about initiatives in Australia on the basis of what is Australia's national interest".

India has not sent an official delegation to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing yesterday, and instead criticised China's global initiative, warning of an "unsustainable debt burden" for countries involved.

The inclusive tone of China's Belt and Road push stands in stark contrast to US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy, which included the scrapping of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, a regional trade pact involving Pacific Rim countries but excluding China.

The Belt and Road Forum was held in Beijing with 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders in attendance, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What is China's new Silk Road? The China Development Bank has earmarked $890 billion for some 900 projects.

The huge amount will contribute to the Silk Road Fund, which was set up in 2014 to finance infrastructure projects.

Mr. 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".

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.

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"This is an event that has been organized by the Chinese to focus on the Belt and Road Initiative".

The US-based organisation said Chinese authorities have "heightened surveillance and repression to prevent potential unrest that could impede" Belt and Road plans in the western Xinjiang region.

Mr Xi told world leaders gathered in Beijing at the Belt and Road Forum - named after the overland "Silk Road Economic Belt" and a "Maritime Silk Road" - that it was "a project of the century" that would benefit people worldwide.

Chinese officials insist the initiative is purely commercial, but foreign diplomats and political analysts also see an effort by the Communist Beijing government to promote its ambitions of rewriting global rules on trade and security and to reduce the US presence in Asia.

"We need to seek win-win results through greater openness and cooperation, avoid fragmentation, refrain from setting inhibitive thresholds for cooperation or pursuing exclusive arrangements and reject protectionism", he said.

In Ethiopia, the infrastructure includes a dry port near the capital, Addis Ababa, and an electric railway to the port in Djibouti.

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

While opening the two-day Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said "all countries should respect sovereignty" and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said CPEC had no "geographical boundaries". "Including the U.S. and Japan which have serious reservations of China", he said.

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