Beijing ) � Chinese President Xi Jinping opened an international summit on "New Silk Road" in Beijing on Sunday, which aspires to strengthen China's trade ties with Eurasia and Africa.
The summit is showcasing Xi's cherished One Belt, One Road initiative, a revival of the Silk Road that could cement China's growing global clout on trade and geopolitics. "This is indeed a gathering of great minds," Xi said, addressing leaders from 29 countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, AFP reported.
"We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy," Xi told the opening of the summit. President Xi pledged to pump an extra $124 billion in funds into the initiative, calling it "a project of the century" in a "world fraught with challenges".
The Chinese-bankrolled project seeks to link the country with Africa, Asia and Europe through an enormous network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.
Focusing on his initiative, the Chinese president boasted that it represented a "road for peace", but he cautioned "all countries should respect each other's sovereignty... and territorial integrity". He also warned that "isolation results in backwardness".
Praising Xi's initiative, Putin warned that "protectionism is becoming the norm". He added: "The ideas of openness, trade freedom are rejected more and more, very often by those who were their supporters not so long ago."
For his part, President Erdogan said Belt and Road was "going to be the kind of initiative that will put an end to terrorism".
Source: International Islamic News Agency