Willing to turn OBOR into path for peace: Xi Jinping

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey also spoke at the opening ceremony.

Hours before Xi began speaking, North Korea fired a ballistic missile, its seventh such test this year, just days after South Korea elected a president who has vowed to engage with Kim Jong Un's regime.

"OBOR belongs to all of us, those who are participating and those who are not as yet".

The United States sent a delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia at the National Security Council.

"No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereign and territorial integrity, " MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in response to questions whether India would attend the two-day summit, being attended by Heads of State or Government from nearly 30 countries and top representatives from over 20 other nations.

Chinese President Xi Jingping pledged $124bn (£96.25) for the plans on Sunday (14 May), which will invest heavily in global infrastructure and open up worldwide trade routes.

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"It has once again put China on centre stage", he was quoted as saying.

Ross Feingold, an Asia-based political risk analyst, said the move was in line with Trump's election promise of creating more jobs for USA companies.

The forum will close on May 15 with the release of a Joint Statement of the Leader Roundtable.

Britain is wooing China to increase trade as Beijing has pressed forward with its ambitious Silk Road plan aimed at developing worldwide growth.

Sharif said the Belt and Road "rejected the encirclement for any country".

Referring to the ancient Silk Road, Jinping stressed on the importance of various civilizations, including the Indus and Ganges civilizations and pledged an additional 100 billion yuan (about $14 billion) to the Silk Road fund.

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Zypries on Sunday called for more transparency in tenders for projects related to the initiative, and insisted that it should conform to worldwide trade standards.

China has used the initiative to help portray its economy as open to the world, distinct from a rising wave of global protectionism, as U.S. President Donald Trump promotes an "America First" policy.

India skipped China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) Summit that is taking place in Beijing on May 14 and 15 over sovereignty issues related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India also has objected to Chinese state-owned companies working in the Pakistani-held part of Kashmir, the Himalayan region claimed by both sides, seeing that as an endorsement of Pakistan's control.

Leaders from 28 other countries have attended the forum, but some have voiced criticism that the projects will saddle countries with unmanageable debts to China and in turn increasing their global dominance.

Instead, he said, Beijing wants "partnerships of friendship" and a "big family of harmonious coexistence".

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