BEIJING: China will host a second Belt and Road summit, on the country’s much touted new Silk Road plan, in two years time Chinese President Xi Jinping told the media at a press conference at the closing of China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year on Monday.
"It is our hope that through the Belt and Road development, we will unleash new forces for global economic growth," Xi told reporters.
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in the city for two days. World leaders from 29 nations as well as 1500 delegates, investors, entrepreneurs, scholars and media from more than 100 countries attended the event.
The meeting included Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and presidents or prime ministers from Italy, Hungary, Greece, Kenya and most of China's Asian neighbours but no major Western leaders. Delegates from African included South Africa and Ethiopia. While officials from the United States and North Korea also joined the international forum.
The initiative - a modern Silk Road of trade, investment and infrastructure development - is China’s biggest foreign initiative to date.
The plan focuses on promoting policy, financial integration, closer people-to-people ties, joint contribution and shared benefits to all participating countries.
Xi said so far, the initiative had won support from 130 countries and 70 international organisations. China has signed Belt and Road-related agreements with 68 countries and international organisations. He added the forum had passed a list of 270 achievements.
“We have reached consensus and passed (a joint) communique.”
Leaders, in attendance, have put their weight behind Jinping’s ambitious strategy which promises to boost economies leverage the strengths of all the countries involved.
Xi said the Belt and Road Initiative has “no political agenda” and was meant to be an "open and inclusive platform for development."
He said: “Under concerted efforts, we believe the Belt and Road can be built to be peaceful, thriving, pioneering, innovative, and civilised.”