'Nervous India Can't Stop Others from Joining Belt and Road'

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for closer co-operation across Asia and Europe

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for closer co-operation across Asia and Europe

Lin's remarks came as China positioned the Belt and Road Initiative as one that can inject vitality into the world's economy through several big-ticket infrastructure projects around the globe.

To further facilitate global cooperation for new infrastructure, creation of additional industrial capacity and strengthening of financial services, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China are going to set up special lending schemes worth 250 billion yuan and 130 billion yuan respectively, he said.

"I want to invite you all to build strong cooperation with us in Indonesia and Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to work with our raw materials and energy resources, so that together we can develop a chain of production along the Silk Road", Jokowi said.

"China has formally invited India to join the Belt and Road".

Singapore's partnership with China on its ambitious new Silk Road initiative brings both opportunities and challenges, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in Beijing yesterday. "Connectivity initiatives must follow the principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create an unsustainable debt burden for communities", foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said.

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

Xi, who was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was speaking at a convention centre by a lake in northern Beijing on the summit's second and final day. The country's minister of economic affairs and energy, Brigitte Zypries, called for greater transparency in tenders, adherence to worldwide standards, and the creation of a level playing field for all companies and countries involved, after expressing concerns that the tenders could all be snapped up by Chinese firms.

"We endeavor to promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system with WTO at its core". While the prime ministers of Spain, Greece and Italy accepted the summit invitation, German, British and French leaders stayed home. "We will always welcome the participation from the Indian side", she added.

The summit is dedicated to Mr Xi's cornerstone economic diplomatic project, the Belt and Road Initiative.

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

"The Belt and Road programme should entrench this role further but until now it has been mostly a catchy phrase to go along with talk about China's global economic strategy".

"It (Belt and Road) has bright future for development", she said, adding that the venture received a "very warm response" from the worldwide community.

Jinping on Sunday also pledged $124 billion for the initiative, which aims to bolster China's global leadership ambitions by building infrastructure and trade links between Asia, Africa, and Europe and beyond.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde called for high-quality infrastructure that respects the environment, while also welcoming the Chinese initiative.