China will host the second Belt and Road Forum in 2019, President Xi Jinping said, as the first worldwide meeting on his pet project ended today.

The two-day Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as OBOR (One Belt, One Road) project, summit in Beijing has raised apprehensions about Chinese ambitions across the world.

This year's summit was attended by leaders of 29 countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to revive the ancient trade routes that span Asia, Africa and Europe and promote economic engagement and investment along the routes.

India boycotted the forum of the project because of sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is not set by ideology". "China, seeking validation for the project, pressed Western countries and American allies to dispatch their leaders, but most declined, sending lower-level officials instead".

A joint statement by the leaders appeared to be crafted to defuse fears Beijing is trying to create a China-dominated bloc and rewrite global trade rules.

In a statement issued here on Monday after the adoption of the joint communique, the prime minister said, "The presence of such a large number of heads of state and government and distinguished world leaders at the forum is testimony to your great leadership and acknowledgment of the growing stature of China on the worldwide map".

The Guardian also highlighted Xi attempt to contrast himself with US President Donald Trump.

The Washington Post talked about the "unease" over the project expressed by India, US and Russian Federation.

Participants of the initiative will champion the Silk Road spirit and stay committed to win-win cooperation, meanwhile, China will not pursue any political agenda or make exclusive arrangements, he stressed.

Katainen said more Europeans were demanding that China give EU businesses access to its market in the way that EU markets were open to Chinese investment.

Speaking at the Leaders' Roundtable on Policy Synergy Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan strongly favours cooperation and synergetic partnerships across regions for socio-economic development and human prosperity.

It also said India could still change its mind and join the initiative before it is too late.


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