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

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".

"Individual countries need to coordinate national policies", Xi said during a speech to world leaders on the final day of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

China today dismissed India's concerns over the Belt and Road initiative, saying the mega venture has broad global support and the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which is a part of it will not affect Beijing's stand on Kashmir.

Speaking to reporters at the Yanqi Lake resort, the forum venue in the outskirts of Beijing, Mr Xi said the forum has sent a "positive message" to the rest of the world on "Belt and Road global cooperation".

The Belt and Road Initiative covers 60 countries starting from South Pacific through South and Central Asia to Europe and Africa.

The countries agreed that "we stand for enhancing worldwide cooperation including the Belt and Road Initiative and various development strategies".

Leaders from 29 countries are attending the forum including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan.

On top of that was an extra £10bn for the Silk Road Fund, set up in 2014 for infrastructure projects.

As India on Sunday skipped China's Belt and Road forum to oppose the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Islamabad and Beijing vowed to conclude the contentious economic route.

More news: North Korea poses 'existential' threat, US intel chief warns

Xi said that 68 countries have signed the agreement of cooperation.

Xi billed the B&R initiative as "a project of the century" that will benefit people around the world.

Germany said its firms were willing to support the Belt and Road initiative, but more transparency was needed. Instead, increased number of visits of foreign leaders to Pakistan and Islamabad's active participation in a number of developmental, security and peace initiative is a clear testimony that world fully acknowledged the geo-strategic importance of Pakistan.

Mr. Xi emerged as the new defender of globalisation, countering the resistance to open economic borders in the US and parts of Europe, with a solid integrative plan, during his address to 29 world leaders and representatives from countries across the continents. "Sri Lanka is ready to seek more economic cooperation opportunities with China".

Xi announced that Beijing promises to provide 540 million Yuan (78 billion dollars) of financial support for the Belt and Road initiative, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is providing a further 1.7 billion dollars worth of loans to the participant countries.

While the historic Silk Road connected Asia to Europe, he said that all countries would be welcomed to the new project.

In a veiled reference to India, which is dead against the CPEC as it goes through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Sharif said the issues of CPEC "must not be politicised".

Xi said that it is time to encourage "fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni were also at the meeting, as were the heads of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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