Najib: M'sia committed to help realise OBOR initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping and 29 other heads of state yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to build an open economy and ensure free and inclusive trade under the ambitious Belt and Road initiative led by Beijing.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic were also among those in attendance.

On the eve of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) forum, India issued a statement saying it can not "accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity".

He called for expanding consensus for One Belt One Road, enhancing cooperation in development and implementation and prepare a blueprint and roadmap for long-term cooperation.

China on Tuesday released a comprehensive list of achievements made during the period around the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

However, he cautioned that the undertaking still had a long way to go.

India skipped the summit as it voiced displeasure at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a Belt and Road project aimed at linking northwestern China to the Arabian Sea.

The Chinese statement also rejected India's concerns on the CPEC, which has been formalised by China as "flagship" even as it passes through PoK.

He said there were "complementarities" between his government's plans to develop northern Australia and China's initiative but he emphasised they were "separate".

Beijing is willing to maintain communication with Rome on major global issues, and hopes Italy can play a positive role within the European Union in order to safeguard development of China-EU ties, he said.

The US economy will also benefit from OBOR, suggested Chinese state media.

At the forum this year, held on Sunday and Monday, 29 foreign heads of state and government as well as chiefs of worldwide organizations, corporate leaders, senior officials and scholars gathered to chart the blueprint for the Belt and Road Initiative, which has won positive feedback from more than 100 countries.

Mr Xi said China will host the second Belt and Road Forum in 2019.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde called for high-quality infrastructure that respects the environment, while also welcoming the Chinese initiative.

"It (Belt and Road) has bright future for development", she said, adding that the venture received a "very warm response" from the global community.

He further said, "Regarding the issue of Kashmir which the Indian side is concerned about, we have been stressing that the Belt and Road is a cooperation initiative for the common development and prosperity of the region".

  • Joanne Flowers