Chinese summit: 28 countries to participate; Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend

Leaders of 28 countries are set to attend a Chinese summit next month showcasing President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative, but few will hail from major Western countries.

AP April 18, 2017 16:51:29 IST
Chinese summit: 28 countries to participate; Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend

Beijing: Leaders of 28 countries are set to attend a Chinese summit in May showcasing President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative, but few will hail from major Western countries.

Chinese summit 28 countries to participate Vladimir Putin Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend

Xi Jinping. Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday that Vladimir Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Spain's Mariano Rajoy are among those slated to appear next month in Beijing for a summit to discuss Xi's "One Belt, One Road" programme to stitch together the Eurasian continent with infrastructure investment.

The May 14-15 summit is seen as a measure of China's international prestige at a time when Xi has positioned China as a rising outward-looking regional power, and as questions have arisen over President Donald Trump's commitment to maintaining the United States' traditional global leadership.

Wang said leaders from France and Germany will not attend due to their domestic election schedules, not because they snubbed China.

"This is a positive, cooperative conference, it shouldn't be politicised," Wang told reporters in Beijing, in response to a question asking if China felt insulted by the absence of top leaders from the U.S. and its allies, including Japan, Britain and Australia.

China has sought to frame Xi's vision for the China-led development program as an inclusive, mutually beneficial project rather than a statement of geopolitical ambitions that should arouse Western suspicions. The program aims to build roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure along the ancient Silk Road's maritime and overland routes with close to $100 billion in funding.

The program is closely linked to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China's version of a global financial institution that faced similar Western scepticism upon its formation last year. In the year since, the bank has succeeded in attracting U.S. allies as members, including Germany, Canada and Britain, although Washington continues to maintain its distance.

Xi unveiled the first outlines of his Belt and Road plan as early as 2013, but the inaugural summit next month will provide the Chinese leader with the most high-profile stage so far to deliver a focused pitch to a world audience.

"This is an economic cooperation forum, an international cooperation platform that everyone is paying attention to, supports and hopes to participate in," Wang said characterising the summit as an effort to uphold globalisation.

Aside from Putin, other Chinese allies including Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi will attend, as will Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Wang said. British Finance Minister Philip Hammond will also attend in the place of Prime Minister Theresa May.

 

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Happy birthday Narendra Modi: From Vladimir Putin to Dalai Lama, world leaders and personalities wish PM
India

Happy birthday Narendra Modi: From Vladimir Putin to Dalai Lama, world leaders and personalities wish PM

Wishes have poured in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday as he turned 70 on Thursday. Several prominent world leaders greeted the prime minister on his special day. Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli, the Dalai Lama, among others were some of the prominent names who wished Modi.

Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, discharged from German hospital after 32 days, mocks Vladimir Putin
World

Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, discharged from German hospital after 32 days, mocks Vladimir Putin

In an Instagram post, the Russian Opposition leader scoffed at Putin's comments that Navalny might have poisoned himself, saying it was a "good theory"

US Election: Biden steady in national polls; Trump's 'summer swoon over', say pundits
World

US Election: Biden steady in national polls; Trump's 'summer swoon over', say pundits

Biden, 78, who would be the oldest sitting president if elected, has leads ranging from five to eight points in battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan