Germany demands more free trade guarantees on China Silk Road plan: minister


Leaders from 29 countries attended the forum, as well as the heads of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The pacts were signed in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of the much-publicised Belt and Road (B&R) Forum beginning on Sunday.

"Such a broad sweep and scale of interlocking economic partnerships and investments is unprecedented in history", Sharif said.

India has not sent an official delegation to attend the "Belt and Road Forum" in Beijing and instead criticised China's global initiative, warning of an "unsustainable debt burden" for countries involved.

India is boycotting the event because one of the flagship projects is the "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", an arrangement with India's arch-rival Pakistan.

"No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity", the statement said. But they also have expressed concern that Beijing might undermine human rights and worldwide standards for lending or leave poor countries with too much debt.

"The trade deficit with China had reached $ 52.7 billion in 2015-16, which was 41% of our total trade deficit (130 billion dollars)".

Duterte earlier chose to forge an independent foreign policy while seeking alliances with other nations on the principle of mutual sovereign respect and non-interference in internal affairs. "We will not export our system of society and development model, and even more will not impose our views on others", Xi said.

"In advancing the Belt and Road, we will not re-tread the old path of games between foes".

"What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence", Xi said, adding pursuit of the initiative will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering.

"As some Western countries move backwards by erecting walls, China is contriving to build bridges, both literal and metaphorical, these bridges are China's important offering to the world, and a key route to improving global governance", the agency said.

The launch was seen as a challenge to a new South Korean president who was elected last week and came as U.S., Japanese and European naval forces gathered for war games in the Pacific.

China, which has been angered by North Korea's repeated missile and nuclear tests, said on Saturday in reaction to the USA complaint that all were welcome at the Silk Road forum. "Now we are a member of (the initiative) we can get some specific project assistance from China's government".

"We should foster a new type of global relations featuring win-win cooperation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance", he said, adding that Belt and Road initiative focuses on the Asian, European and African countries, but is also open to all other countries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippines is interested to discuss with Belt and Road states connectivity, economic and trade cooperation, industrial investment, energy and resources, financial support, people-to-people exchanges, environmental protection and marine cooperation.

India has voiced displeasure at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a Belt and Road project aimed at linking northwestern China to the Arabian Sea.

The English-language newspaper China Daily has bombarded social media with quirky videos, including an American father telling his daughter bedtime stories about Xi's programme and children singing, "We'll share the goodness now, the Belt and Road is how".