China's Xi outlines plans for wide co-operation in trade plan

The external ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said on Saturday, "Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, "One Belt, One Road', which was later renamed as 'Belt and Road Initiative".

In his speech at the inaugural BRF session, Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif said the CPEC was a "core" project of the BRI.

It was one of the first concrete results of trade discussions that began a month ago, when Xi and Trump launched a 100-day action plan on economic cooperation during their meeting at the USA leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The South Asian nation - the world's fastest growing major economy and Asia's third biggest - chose not to attend the gathering, where China laid out its plan to connect almost 70 countries through a series of global trade pacts, inspired by the ancient Silk Road trading route.

China on Tuesday said it was up to India to join the Belt and Road project, but the doors for New Delhi "will always remain open".

Britain can be a natural partner in delivering infrastructure in Belt and Road countries by supporting the finance and planning needed, Hammond said. They are also concerned about transparency and access for foreign companies.

"As leaders, we have to respond to these concerns by continuing to seek new opportunities to expand trade but at the same time by ensuring that all our citizens are reaping the benefits that trade brings".

For his part, Hun Sen said Cambodia is ready to work with China to consolidate the traditional friendship and on the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. New Delhi chose to skip the meeting due to its sovereignty concerns - China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The president was among 29 heads of state and the representatives of 130 countries attending the two-day forum, which started on Sunday.

He said: "Under concerted efforts, we believe the Belt and Road can be built to be peaceful, thriving, pioneering, innovative, and civilised".

A "nervous" India can not stop its neighbours from joining China's Belt and Road project even if it wants to stay out of it, a commentary in a Chinese daily said.

President Xi made the remarks at the Leaders' Roundtable Summit of OBOR Forum for International Cooperation.

"In a world of growing interdependency and challenges, no country can tackle the challenges - also the world's problems - on its own", Mr Xi said at the opening of the meeting.

"We need to improve policy coordination and reject beggar-thy-neighbor practices", Xi told the forum.

Putin and other leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, applauded the initiative, which Xi unveiled in 2013.

  • Leroy Wright