Ambition to meet reality as China gathers world for Silk Road summit

Nepal has chose to become part of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and will sign a framework agreement on the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme this week, reflecting Beijing's increasing clout in Kathmandu.

Following the forum, Mr Hun Sen will have one-on-one meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with President Xi, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the National People's Political Consultative Congress, Yu Zhengsheng.

A new propaganda video in China attempts to explain the myriad benefits of the country's "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

Such an instance of differing opinion is seen elsewhere and remains predicated on the same biases as to whether nation-states see China as a friend or foe depending on whether they see OBOR as an economic positive or negative.

The Asian Development Bank has projected that Asia will need to spend US$1.7 trillion annually from 2016 to 2030 on infrastructure to maintain its growth momentum.

Alexander, a former chief secretary of the British Treasury, stressed that "it is not only China that is talking about the importance of infrastructure investment", European countries including Britain has also emphasized the importance of connectivity.

Beijing's grand vision includes the "Silk Road Economic Belt", which extends from China to central Asia through Europe, linking northern Xi'an city with Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Moscow, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Venice in Italy. "A lot like that, but the United States hasn't joined the initiative", he answers.

MEP Fulvio Martusciello referred to the now stalled Belgrade-Budapest railway project and stated that the unscrupulous methods adopted by China only further confirmed suspicions about the long-term objectives of the OBOR.

In the context of Southeast Asia, the clash between the official Chinese win-win diplomacy and propaganda and the very real geopolitical tensions surrounding China's assertive behavior, especially concerning maritime claims in the South China Sea, highlights the seemingly incompatible perceptions of Chinese economic initiatives in the region. For example, in Sri Lanka a change of government led to the renegotiation of a major port project.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prachanda made a decision to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on One Belt, One Road (OBOR) with the Chinese government. "You have to translate that into some working parts", Guinigundo said.

Liu Hualong, chairman of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp Ltd, said the country's top railway vehicle maker will deliver the first group of metro cars to Istanbul from its manufacturing facility in Turkey in the second half of this year. He said that as an organizer and host of the forum, China will warmly welcome all the guests from around the world including Pakistan.

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