India would have joined "very happily" in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative of China, said Sarath Amanugama, Sri Lanka's Minister on Special Assignment. Also in attendance were heavyweights such as the director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and United Nations secretary general António Guterres.
The multibillion-dollar Silk Road project was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the aim to connect China with Europe and strengthen cooperation between Asia and Africa.
Xi has pledged an extra $124 billion for the plan, on top of the $890 billion already earmarked by the China Development Bank for some 900 projects. Yu stressed that cooperation with global organizations to assist other developing nations is a priority of China's foreign aid and part of its efforts for South-South cooperation.
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.
Participants in the Leaders Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation adopted a joint communique.
"The Belt and Road project, reaching Rwanda and beyond, will be a leap forward in process of integrating Africa not only facilitating integration of the continent's economy into the global one but also enhancing political integration", Kayonga said.
"India's objection to the B&R is partly a show for domestic politics, partly to pile pressure on China".
"China has welcomed the participation of India in the Belt and Road project". We keep saying that the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative.
The Chinese statement also rejected India's concerns on the CPEC, which has been formalised by China as "flagship" even as it passes through PoK. It boycotted the Beijing gathering because China's energy and economic corridor in Pakistan cuts through parts of Kashmir claimed by both India and Pakistan.
Although the U.S.is not yet a member of the initiative, it sent a delegation led by Matthew Pottinger, East Asia director on the National Security Council.
The huge spending plan comes as China looks for ways to spur economic growth, which has slowed in recent years as the country transitions away from a debt-fuelled investment-driven model to one more reliant on consumer spending.
"India hopes that it can shape bilateral relations more actively, and expects China to give special attention to the interests of India".
China conceived numerous projects long before including them under the initiative.
During the event, China Railway signed an agreement for further cooperation on China - Europe container block trains with railway companies of China, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland and Russian Federation.
The head of China called the economic belt of Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road of the 21st century "a project of the century", which will provide benefit to people around the world, MoneyControl reports.
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