Pak cooperating with China on CPEC

It calls for expanding trade across Asia, Africa and Europe by investing in ports, railways and other facilities, but governments including Russia, Washington and India are uneasy Beijing also is using it to gain political influence.

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.

"We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy", he told the opening of the two-day gathering in Beijing.

"No matter if they are from Asia and Europe, or Africa or the Americas, they are all cooperative partners in building the Belt and Road".

The forum is the highest-level meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative since it was put forward by Xi in 2013.

On top of that was an extra £10bn for the Silk Road Fund, set up in 2014 for infrastructure projects. New Delhi is protesting the controversial economic corridor's transversing through the disputed territory of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"We need to improve policy coordination and reject beggar-thy-neighbour practices", Mr Xi told the 29 national leaders attending the forum.

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Crum got a double payday from the python - $375 from the water district, about the same for selling the skin. The local record was a snake measuring at about 18 feet, two inches in length and weighing about 160 pounds.

While some see Beijing's project as a geopolitical powerplay, Xi has insisted that the Belt and Road is open to everybody. But he expressed hope governments taking part in the initiative will coordinate policy in finance, law enforcement, technology and education — areas where China's status as the biggest Asian economy would allow Beijing to dominate.

Xi, addressing the leaders, urged major multilateral institutions to join his new Belt and Road Initiative, stressing the importance of rejecting protectionism in seeking global economic growth.

Some European countries have refused to sign off on a trade statement at China's Silk Road summit, a diplomat said yesterday, dealing a setback to Beijing's efforts to gain full support for its initiative.

China will sign trade agreements with 30 countries during the two-day Forum, and gradually expand it to cover 60 countries who are connected to the Belt and Road plan, he said.

China will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019. He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with worldwide trade and investment sluggish, and economic globalisation encountering headwinds.

Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs and financiers from over 130 countries and representatives of key global organizations, such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Managing Director of the worldwide Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

In addition, Xi pledged about additional $14 billion for the construction of the Belt and Road project, of which CPEC is the chief component.

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