In a global regional Summit Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged as many as $124 billion for a new Silk Road Plan. Chinese President wants the region to become more united, peaceful, and continue the struggle for prosperity with unity. He called for ending old rivalries and creating a stronger world at a time when Trump led USA is going for America first policy.
In the opening ceremony, Xi told the people:
“We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy.”
Belt and Road Initiative to Boost Global Development
The formal Belt and Road initiative is going to be the game-changer in global trade scenarios. The plan which was unveiled in 2013 is aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, and Europe. The infrastructure development alone will cost billions of dollars and is bringing immense opportunities to the region.
Xi maintains that fair, reasonable and transparent global trade, and investment rules are necessary to ensure that the vision remains clear to all stakeholders involved in the process. The forum has also signaled China’s intent to brush aside US criticism as North Korea has been allowed participation even though Americans had raised concerns about the leadership of the country and the war ambition that the country currently maintains.
Is China ready for the Financial Leadership?
Beijing has continued to challenge US as in the financial leadership front over the last three decades. With United States having a change in external policies, it seems that the opportunity to expand is ripe for Beijing. Xi has pledged almost 550 billion yuan extra to show off the financial muscle. The breakdown of the extra finances contains a 60 billion yuan aid to developing countries for infrastructure development.
The global summit has been attended by leaders of 29 countries as well heads of United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank.
India refused to send an official delegation to Beijing stating certain territorial issues as major concern. India has raised concern about China establishing trade route through Kashmir – a territory that India maintains is disputed.
The Western countries also showed unease at certain developments. It is being seen as a global plan for China to increase its influence in the region. Australia maintained that the new initiative was a great opportunity for the country to grow, but Australia will only participate once it’s clear that Australian interests within the project are protected properly.
Beijing, however, maintains that the summit is a global opportunity, and everyone is welcome.