Duterte skips Belt and Road gala dinner

29 April, 2019, 12:00 | Author: Gerard Cortez
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Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun attends a thematic forum of the second Belt and Road Forum for worldwide cooperation in Beijing, China, April 25, 2019.

Belt and Road Forum provides a platform to countries participating in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for exchanging views and experiences on regional connectivity; policy synergy; socio-economic development and trade and commerce.

An agreement on the reinstatement of the Bandar Malaysia project was also signed.

"We value the good relations with China, but friends protect their allies, not take advantage of them", Poe said on Friday.

"Building high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive infrastructure will help countries to fully utilize their resource endowments", he added.

"We should strengthen debt and risk management".

The Belt and Road Initiative is China's attempt to revive the ancient Silk Road trading network that spanned continental Asia, and create a new "maritime silk road" that extends to Africa and beyond.

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Beijing is likely to tout the memorandums of understanding it has signed with participating governments, a China expert told The Guardian, as they lend legitimacy to the project and allow Xi Jinping to show Chinese citizens that his policies are fully endorsed by the global community.

The high-profile meeting brings together dozens of heads of states, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose country became the first G7 member to sign up to the initiative.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen directly addressed critics who have described Belt and Road as a debt trap by pointing to the successful example of a Chinese-funded highway between Phnom Penh and the port city of Sihanoukville.

"Cambodia has not only been able to plan this project for the benefit of the people but also achieve financial engineering that does not increase public debt to the state", he said, in comments translated into English.

"The four-day official visit of the prime minister to China will take the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership of the two countries to new heights", says an official statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The United States, which has not joined the Belt and Road, is expected to send only a lower-level delegation, and nobody from Washington.

Mr Khan expressed gratitude to China for its strong and unequivocal support for Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and reiterated that Pakistan too would continue to stand by China on all issues of its core interest.

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