President Xi: China to Host 2nd Belt & Road Forum in 2019

Last week, the article noted, "Nepal officially signed a deal with China to join the Belt and Road project, and the country is also reportedly in talks with Beijing to build a cross-border rail link that may cost up to $8 billion".

At an global summit in Beijing showcasing China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, USA delegate Matt Pottinger said American companies had "much to offer" the project.

"No matter if they are from Asia and Europe, or Africa or the Americas, they are all co-operative partners in building the Belt and Road".

Xi first proposed the Belt and Road initiative in 2013.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickramasinge, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were among the world leaders who attended the high-profile meeting.

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State leaders of nearly 30 countries have agreed to work together to build roads, railways, ports and other key infrastructure in one of the world's biggest economic diplomacy programmes led by China.

India refused to send an official delegation to Beijing, reflecting displeasure with China for developing a $57 billion trade corridor through Pakistan that also crosses the disputed territory of Kashmir.

"China stresses that this initiative is not benefiting China alone, but it's of a benefit to all participating countries, and as we say, this initiative is not a solo piece but a symphony played by all participating countries", Qi said. White House adviser Matt Pottinger explained that the USA supports China's efforts to promote integration and development through its Belt and Road project, Reuters revealed.

China plans to project the summit as a global acceptance of the initiative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping criticised protectionism on Monday at a summit positioning Beijing as a champion of globalisation, but several European nations spoilt attempts to win full backing for his trade agenda. "This is an important lesson that can be drawn from the global financial crisis and is still very relevant to the development of the world economy today".

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As a result of the meeting, financial authorities of the participating countries signed the document "Belt and Road Financing Guidelines".

"The forum shows the world how far China has come towards its dream of national rejuvenation", said Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.

It's a milestone event created to promote Chinese President Xi Jinping's grand vision of expanding trade, financial and infrastructure links between Asia, Africa and Europe.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the press conference of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 15, 2017. 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.

Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs and financiers from more than 130 countries, and representatives of key global organisations such as UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and worldwide Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde.

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