India's refusal to join China's B&R regrettable: Chinese media

Recep Tayyip Erdogan Nawaz Sharif

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a grand plan to connect Asia with Europe and Africa along, and beyond, ancient trade routes by putting in place an unparalleled trade and infrastructure network.

Beijing is hosting a high-level global cooperation forum, dubbed "One Belt, One Road", which brings together dozens of heads of state and government, along with financial organizations and hundreds of business representatives and entrepreneurs.

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

In the communique, China and other nations underlined the importance of expanding trade and investment based on a level playing field.

The United States sent a diplomatic note warning to China on Friday that North Korea's attendance at the summit could affect the participation of other countries, casting a shadow over what is Beijing's biggest diplomatic event of 2017, two sources with knowledge of the situation said.

What: China's Belt and Road Initiative could change global business.

Some of China's close allies and partners were at the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Mr. Xi said the world must create conditions that promote open development and encourage the building of systems of "fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules".

Three state-owned Chinese enterprises bought Turkey's third largest port, Kumport, which is considered an important joint between the "belt" and the "road".

Despite the success of the forum on its first day, some criticism of the Belt and Road programme was voiced by representatives of developed countries.

As well as the corridor through Pakistan, India is anxious more broadly about China's economic and diplomatic expansion through Asia, and in particular across countries and waterways it considers to be within its sphere of influence.

India is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan.

Ms Zypries called for "a transparent procurement process and adherence to global standards" on the lines of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development members' consensus on export financing.

"We need to seek win-win results through greater openness and cooperation, avoid fragmentation, refrain from setting inhibitive thresholds for cooperation or pursuing exclusive arrangements and reject protectionism", he said.

Xi tried to mollify concern about a potential Chinese-dominated bloc by saying "Belt and Road" is meant to be an "open and inclusive platform for development".

In Ethiopia, the infrastructure includes a dry port near the capital, Addis Ababa, and an electric railway to the port in Djibouti. By taking along all the four chief ministers to the Silk Road forum, PM Nawaz Sharif has also given a positive message to China that his country fully supports the Chinese initiative.

China is reportedly establishing some military bases in Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory whose sovereignty is disputed, said the founder of the Gilgit-Baltistan Thinkers Forum, Wajahat Khan.

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