China's Silk Road forum latest effort to boost Xi's stature

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is confident Malaysia will benefit from the implementation of the One Belt One Road initiative by China due to the country's strategic location.

China has jointly set up 56 overseas economic cooperation zones in 20 Belt and Road countries, covering processing and manufacturing, resource utilization, agriculture, commercial logistics and R&D.

The initiative aims to redefine the global economy by integrating the economies of Europe, Asia and Africa through an unprecedentedly powerful network of transport and communications infrastructure.

Domestically, he noted, Chinese leaders will move cautiously on their ambitious reform agenda, maintain their anti-corruption campaign, and try to manage China's slowing economy. "Afterwards it became that all solutions from any country are fine", said Wang Huiyao, head of the Centre for China and Globalization.

Chinese loans to countries and regions along the Belt and Road will not add to local debt burden, while risks rising from such loans are under control, bank officials said Thursday.

THE progress of Belt and Road Initiative has drawn a clear outline of the prospect of win-win cooperation between "Chinese Dream" and "European Dream".

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But with a confusing name, that officially refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, added to myriad economic and security risks, clouds hang over the plan.

The trilateral summit will be held under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first such meeting of its kind, as all three men will be present at the Silk Road Economic Belt Conference alongside dozens of countries stretching from Asia to Eastern Europe on May 14 and 15. Nepal wants investments for road and railway connectivity, which are key to the country's development, he said.

There has been nearly relentlessly upbeat coverage in China ahead of the Belt and Road Forum, including documentaries on state television and smiling citizens in project countries praising the changes it has brought.

Speaking last week at a meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Japan, Philippine Deputy Central Bank Governor Diwa Guinigundo said it was hard to pre-judge the new Silk Road.

"What I can tell you is that we have repeatedly said the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive proposal", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday.

The original plan was for a host country press statement, but China changed that to a joint communique, the source said.

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