China’s global trade plan is open to all and no threat to any, Xi Jinping says

‘Inclusive’ globalisation plan will produce new ways to grow economies to the benefit of all, world leaders told at forum

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 1:48pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 2:55pm

China’s grand globalisation strategy will not exclude any party or target anyone, Chinese President Xi Jinping told world leaders said on the second day of a forum in Beijing to promote his idea of connecting the world’s economies and boosting growth.

Xi told a meeting of 29 state and government heads that China will keep its “Belt and Road Initiative” an open and inclusive platform.

“It is open to all friends sharing the same thoughts,” Xi said.

Xi Jinping primes China to be leader of the free-trade pack

The plan, conceived by Xi four years ago to promote trade and investment along the ancient Silk Road through Eurasia and a maritime route through Southeast Asia, is China’s answer to the isolationism that is on the rise in US under President Donald Trump.

Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans Pacific Partnership regional trade pact, plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement that links the US, Canada and Mexico, and is threatening more tariffs on imports.

China is promoting its alternative at a forum in Beijing attended by 29 state and government leaders and thousands of delegates from more than 100 countries, including the United States and North Korea. It is looking to project its economic and political influence to nearly 70 countries via the plan.

Almost 30 state leaders put their backing behind Xi Jinping’s new globalisation strategy

“The primary intention and the highest goal of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is to allow each member to jointly address global economic challenges, find new growth opportunities and drivers, achieve a win-win situation and keep moving toward a community with joint destiny,” Xi said.

“We will not draw a circle, set no high threshold, exclusive arrangement or protectionism.”

China announced a day earlier that it would provide an additional US$113 billion in funding to facilitate the trade and investment plan, with the stress on infrastructure construction in the region as well as policy coordination among members.

Xi said that a policy coordination mechanism would be set up to connect domestic plans of participating countries.

Meanwhile, China will also sign dozens of trade deals during the summit, and start free-trade negotiations with many countries who have signed up to the initiative.