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Jokowi Optimistic About China's Belt And Road Initiative

19 May 2017

Hundreds of delegates are attending the forum, including 29 heads of state.

President Xi Jinping criticised protectionism yesterday at a summit positioning China as a champion of globalisation, and secured a free trade commitment from nearly 30 other world leaders as the meeting wound up.

Both countries should strengthen links between their economies and cooperate on trade, law enforcement, security, anti-terrorism and combating cyber crime, while developing people-to-people exchanges in tourism, culture and education, Xi said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan arrive for a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

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The inclusive tone of China's Belt and Road push stands in stark contrast to US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy.

Located on the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Myanmar is key partner of China under the Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes over land and sea.

Asked about India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay's remarks that India has been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on Belt and Road, Hua said: "I would like you to do me a favour". It was one of the first concrete results of trade discussions that began a month ago, when Xi and Trump launched a 100-day action plan on economic cooperation during their meeting at the USA leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

About the BRF which concluded yesterday, Hua said it built consensus, pointed direction for worldwide cooperation, chartered course and identified action plans "It was a successful, productive and fruitful event", she said.

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"This is an important lesson that can be drawn from the global financial crisis and is still very relevant to the development of the world economy today", Xi added.

The strategy was said to involve high-speed railways, bridges, roads, ports, industrial parks, oil pipelines and power grids that will be built across the region, from Mongolia and Laos to Uzbekistan and Malaysia.

India can not stop its neighbours from cooperating with China in its ambitious Belt and Road project, Chinese media warned, as tensions simmer between the two Asian rivals.

Pointing out that enhancing physical connectivity should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner, he said, "We are working with many countries and worldwide institutions in support of physical and digital connectivity in our own immediate and near neighbourhood".

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