Najib joins world leaders at Beijing Belt and Road Forum roundtable summit

Group photo of leaders from 29 countries attending the two-day forum in Beijing.

"Iran's position in [Chinese President] Xi Jinping's innovative plan to revive the New Silk Road is spectacular and ideal, therefore we intend to play an effective role in its implementation", Tayyebnia said in the meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

"While the Belt and Road initiative focuses on the Asian and European continents, it does not exclude any target or party", he said.

The Global Times noted that New Delhi is primarily against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project along the Belt and Road (B&R) which goes through Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

"No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity", India's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Saturday.

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that nearly 30 countries have already agreed to work together to build roads, railways, ports and other key infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative led by China.

But some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally.

Jörg Wuttke, outgoing president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, said last week that many foreign firms still face major regulatory barriers and limits to market access in China.

Projects like Silk Road culture year, tourism year, art festival and think tank dialogue are also flourishing. Second, we need more synergy in our development strategies both at the regional and global levels.

He also pledged around 124-billion USA dollars of funds for the Belt and Road cooperation. A change of presidents in the Philippines and the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which excludes China, have helped. "Some countries seem obsessed with the idea of containment or game-playing, and seem unable to see the truth in the mist of history", an editorial in the Beijing Youth Daily said.

China insists that OBOR will be open to participation from all countries, including Europe, Africa and the Americas, which are not situated on the traditional Silk Road.

The idea of cooperation and inclusiveness extends to funding projects and investments along the new trade routes, which are being developed both on land and at sea.

"This forum has sent a positive message to the rest of the world that we will work together to advance Belt and Road cooperation and build a future of shared prosperity for mankind", he said after the close of the summit.

In countries like Myanmar and Pakistan, Chinese-backed pipelines and highways traverse areas plagued by ethnic insurgencies, necessitating spending on security for the projects and raising concerns that they could be the target of insurgent attacks.

The active use of local currencies will also help to mobilise local savings, lower remittance and exchange costs, and safeguard financial stability, he said. "Indeed, the English first attempted to find a trade route to China in the 16th century although it took us four decades to find one", Hammond told the opening session of the two-day forum.

The South American country, she said, could take advantage of the 60 billion yuan (8.7 billion US dollars) in aid China offered developing countries and global organizations that take part in the initiative to drive development and improve living conditions around the world.

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