19 May, 2017
China made its latest bid for global leadership on Monday (15 May) when President Xi said to Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the world should say no to protectionism and embrace the new era of integration, internationalism, and globalization.
Britain, France and Germany were represented by finance or trade officials.
President Donald Trump was scathing about China's trade policies on the campaign trail, but relations have warmed in recent weeks as the US leader softens his stance.
"One single feather does not make a bird fly high", the president said.
Explaining the reasons behind India's decision to skip the two-day Belt and Road Forum (BRF) that ended in Beijing on Monday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said: "Guided by our principled position on the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative..."
Putin described the "One Belt, One Road" initiative to facilitate a 21st-century Silk Road, as a "timely and important proposition.in which Russian Federation will engage with active participation".
Xi also appealed to foreign leaders to resist pressure to close markets. But this is not for the first time that India is trying to obstruct purely developmental initiative as it always scuttled growth of the cooperative platform of SAARC and backed out of its commitment to joint Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project.
According to Xi, it was necessary to coordinate policies with the development goals of institutions including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN, African Union and the European Union.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday a total of 68 countries and worldwide organizations have signed One Belt and One Road (OBOR) cooperation agreements with China.
"I want to invite you all to build strong cooperation with us in Indonesia and Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to work with our raw materials and energy resources, so that together we can develop a chain of production along the Silk Road", Jokowi said. Proposed by Xi in 2013, the development strategy focuses on connectivity and cooperation among nations in Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond.
Xi confirmed that China has so far signed cooperative agreements with 68 countries and worldwide organizations concerning the initiative, including those signed during the forum.
The TPP, touted by the previous USA administration of President Barack Obama, has effectively been killed by Trump, who has withdrawn United States support.
Beijing asked New Delhi to explain what it meant by "meaningful dialogue" on the Belt and Road project.
China is promoting itself as a champion of free trade in response to pressure in the U.S. and Europe for restrictions on imports. It also reffered to Xi's remarks in which, while skirting any references to India's absence at the meeting, he had 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 cores interests and major concerns".