BEIJING: China downplayed the political implications of its global Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, saying that it aimed to boost multilateralism amid protectionist trends in the US and elsewhere.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on Friday that a conference to promote the initiative, to be held next week in Beijing, would draw leaders from 37 countries, AP said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is to address the opening ceremony on April 28, and chair a round table meeting of state leaders the next day.
The initiative aims to weave a network of ports, bridges and power plants linking China with Africa, Europe and beyond. The US has been a notable critic of the initiative.
China’s main Asian economic rival, India, has also turned a cold shoulder to the initiative.
Wang sought to reach out to New Delhi, saying that issues left over from history must be separated from economic efforts.__RT.com