China to hold next Belt and Road forum in 2019

India's refusal to join China's high-profile Belt and Road initiative is "regrettable" but New Delhi's boycott will not at all affect the cooperation in infrastructure development among its neighbouring countries, a report in a state-run newspaper said today.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, was open to all countries in the region and categorically said the project "must not be politicized." .

The summit is showcasing Xi's cherished One Belt, One Road initiative, a revival of the Silk Road that could cement China's growing global clout on trade and geopolitics as US President Donald Trump promotes "America First" and questions existing global free trade deals.

"And ultimately how much political sovereignty is sacrificed, and what is the risk to completion of projects in the event of a disorderly slowdown in the domestic Chinese economy", said the US investment firm specialising in frontier and illiquid markets.

The United States and other governments have said "Belt and Road" is a natural outgrowth of China's status as the biggest global trader, and USA officials have said they want to work with Beijing on infrastructure.

Leaders from 29 countries attended the forum, as well as heads of the UN, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

At the opening of the meeting on Sunday, Xi pledged to pump an extra $124 billion into the China-bankrolled project, which involves a huge network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

Instead of providing additional targets to terrorists, it will rather cut the fuel and supplies of youth to militant groups thriving on what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan very aptly in his address to Pakistani Parliament stated.

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The Chinese leader is using the global gathering to promote his signature foreign policy project, the One Belt, One Road initiative.

On Saturday, Pakistan and China inked new deals worth almost Dollars 500 million, covering airport, port and highway construction, it said.

CHINA will enhance cooperation with the United Nations on peacekeeping, according to Chinese State Councilor and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun.

Without referring to India's objections to the China- Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC), Xi said, "all countries should respect each other's sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other's development paths and social systems, and each other's core interests and major concerns".

He said Beijing plans to announce dozens of new investment and other agreements during the two-day event.

Named after the historic Silk Road, the Belt and Road initiative was proposed by Xi in 2013 to chart out new territories for worldwide cooperation.

India skipped the summit as it voiced displeasure at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a Belt and Road project aimed at linking northwestern China to the Arabian Sea. Playing down differences over the project among different provinces in his country, Sharif said, "the CPEC is owned and nurtured by all citizens of Pakistan".

Human Rights Watch raised fears on Saturday about the treatment of people along the new Silk Road route in Central Asian nations with poor track records in infrastructure projects.

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