OBOR: In major blow to China, Europian Union endorsement unlikely

Regolare Commento Stampare

At the same time, Hua said that China "welcomes the participation of India to the Belt and Road initiative, the answer is clear" when asked about India being the only major country absent at Sunday's first Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing.

On the conditions of anonymity, a diplomat informed that France, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Portugal and Britain are the countries which have refused to sign the project. The US has much to offer, and as part of a trade deal (paywall) with China announced last week, the Trump administration agreed to send one of its top Asia experts, Matthew Pottinger, a National Security Council official, to a two-day OBOR summit just completed in Beijing.

These leaders recognized, in a joint statement issued Monday, that growth in global trade and investment is sluggish.

The leaders vow to contribute to a stable and equitable worldwide financial system, promote openness and connectivity among financial markets, including through mutual cooperation on payment systems and the promotion of financial inclusion, according to the document.

"We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised worldwide norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality".

Other leaders hinted at potential problems in their remarks.

Serbia expects to deepen cooperation with China in a host of areas, including the economy and trade, mining, infrastructure, finance, aviation and tourism. Furthermore an initial investment of US$ 40 billion is made to implement One Belt, One Road. But other Asian governments are uneasy about Beijing's strategic ambitions, especially after it built artificial islands and military bases in the South China Sea to enforce its claim to most of the region.

Addressing concerns that the initiative will become a bonanza for Chinese companies or a strategic play for regional domination, Xi declared that the plan would be open to all countries and would complement each nation's development goals.

The daily said if India sees itself as a big power, it should get accustomed to the many divergences with China, and try to manage these divergences with China.

Earlier Monday, the Chinese leader appealed in a speech to the visiting foreign leaders to pursue "greater openness and cooperation" and to "reject protectionism".

China is promoting itself as a champion of free trade in response to pressure in the USA and Europe for restrictions on imports.

In Beijing, the Prime Minister had bilateral meetings with China President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

China has rallied support from around the world to champion globalization and multilateralism, said Xinhua.