Beijing pledges $124B for modern 'Silk Road'

Pakistan and China sign various agreements in Beijing Nawaz Sharif to attend the leaders roundtable sessions on second day of the forum

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian gave the endorsement as Duterte was set to join world leaders flying to Beijing to attend the two-day "One Belt, One Road" forum hosted by China. "This will open new doors for the Philippines, giving us the chance to enter new markets and foster more meaningful trade relations with countries outside of our normal sphere of influence", Gatchalian said.

At the Belt and Road Forum, heads of state and government leaders from 30 countries and delegates from more than 130 countries and worldwide organizations sit down together contributing wisdom to the building of a new model of cooperation. During a congressional hearing, Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, said the emergence of CPEC would allow terrorist groups more targets for attacks.

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

Mr Xi said that it was time for the world to promote open development and encourage the building of systems of "fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules".

Xi said China would contribute 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) to the Silk Road Fund, which was set up in 2014 to finance infrastructure projects and provide aid worth 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) to developing countries and worldwide organizations taking part in the initiative to revive the ancient trade route. It is also called the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI) summit. "Including the U.S. and Japan which have serious reservations of China", he said.

"Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, "One Belt, One Road" which was later renamed as "Belt and Road Initiative".

OBOR, which has been in the works for four years, spans more than 68 countries and up to 40% of global GDP.

"On the question of OBOR, India has said that there are issues of sovereignty involved", he said referring to one strand of the ambitious Chinese infrastructure project ie the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), that cuts through Gilgit and Baltistan areas of Kashmir which India claims are illegally held by Pakistan. "No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity", it added.

Some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to push Chinese influence globally and anxious about a lack of transparency in the Belt and Road projects.

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They are also concerned about transparency and access for foreign firms to the scheme.

India has voiced displeasure at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a Belt and Road project aimed at linking northwestern China to the Arabian Sea.

Analysts say China is creating a network of countries with which it has trade agreements in order to reduce tariff barriers, as well as push for an alternative to the TPP.

Hours before Xi began speaking, North Korea fired a ballistic missile, its seventh such test this year, just days after South Korea elected a president who has vowed to engage with Kim Jong Un's regime.

During his state visit to Finland last month, President Xi reached an important consensus with President Niinistö on deepening bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"What we hope to achieve is a new model of win-win cooperation". It has great significance for worldwide and regional cooperation, which has been created to discuss ways to boost cooperation, build cooperation platforms and share cooperation outcomes.

Projected to add $2.5 trillion of annual trade value by 2025, the Belt and Road initiative is the largest global economic development plan undertaken in human history.

The active use of local currencies will also help to mobilise local savings, lower remittance and exchange costs, and safeguard financial stability, he said. She called for joint planning for infrastructure projects by all stakeholders instead of leaving it to one sponsor or country.

Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif, his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, 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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