Behind China's Silk Road vision: cheap funds, heavy debt, growing risk

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.

Lin's remarks came as China positioned the Belt and Road Initiative as one that can inject vitality into the world's economy through several big-ticket infrastructure projects around the globe.

"China would never force any country to participate in the Belt and Road if it was too sceptical and nervous to do so", the Global Times said.

China has signed Belt and Road-related agreements with 68 countries and worldwide organisations.

The initiative stemmed from the common wish of all parties to promote the Belt and Road construction, Zhong said, adding that it reflects their shared aspiration to pursue integration, high-efficiency, win-win outcome and development, as well as action to boost trade growth, two-way investment and inclusive and sustainable development.

"China has welcomed the participation of India in the Belt and Road project". "Connectivity initiatives must follow the principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create an unsustainable debt burden for communities", foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said.

European Union notion of the OBOR holds much significance as it deals a direct blow to Chinese president Xi Jinping's ambition to lead a global infrastructure revolution.

He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with worldwide trade and investment sluggish, and economic globalisation encountering headwinds. Singapore companies can also partner Chinese companies to invest in South-east Asia, he said.

Rwanda's ambassador to China, Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga has praised the Belt and Road initiative as a platform for Africa to grow with the rest of the world.

From the Indian sub-continent, prime ministers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, deputy prime minister of Nepal and state counsellor of Myanmar attended the meeting in Beijing. "We are awaiting a response from the Chinese side". Discussions focused on China's New Silk Road trade project - an initiative to create new trading routes across parts of the developing world.

At the opening of the meeting on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to pump an extra $124 billion into the China-bankrolled project, which involves a huge network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

"We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised worldwide norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality".

"The Belt and Road initiative is one of the mechanisms for infrastructural development".

  • Zachary Reyes