There's one major pitfall for African countries along China's new Silk Road

The President said joining the Belt and Road initiative will open up trade and investment opportunities while also reigniting Africa own plan for regional and continental integration.

China has defended globalisation at a time when the United States is retreating into "America First" policies on trade and foreign relations under President Donald Trump.

China on Tuesday challenged India to clarify its call for a "meaningful dialogue" on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) despite Beijing saying that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an economic project with no implications for the Kashmir issue.

Located on the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Myanmar is key partner of China under the Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes over land and sea. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an initiative on economic cooperation.

"China's rhetoric on free trade and investment is far better than the reality", he said. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes worth 250 billion yuan and 130 billion yuan respectively, to support belt and road projects.

Growth in the output of industrial production fell by more than a percentage point in April to reach 6.5 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a wide concept.

The Philippines is keen to work with Chinese firms on more infrastructure-related projects, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. She said China always followed the principle of extensive consultation with other countries on the project over which India has sovereignty concerns.

He said there will be created a partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and U.S. companies, in an American Belt and Road Working Group, to serve as the "one node for collaboration in this area". It also will be helpful for China to integrate its technology, manufacturing and service expertise with them to benefit more people around the world.

India, whose population is expected to surpass that of China in the coming years, pointedly avoided the summit, complaining that a Silk Road project that crosses Pakistan impinges on its sovereignty by passing through the disputed region of Kashmir.

India on its part has already boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held from May 14-15.

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.

  • Leroy Wright