President Xi Jinping on Saturday hailed deals worth more than $64 billion signed during China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) this week as he sought to reassure skeptics the project will deliver sustainable growth for all involved.
Xi said market principles will apply in all Belt and Road cooperation projects and that his signature initiative to recreate the old Silk Road joining China with Asia and Europe will deliver green and high-quality development.
“More and more friends and partners will join in Belt and Road cooperation,” he said in his closing remarks. “The cooperation will enjoy higher quality and brighter prospects.”
Xi and other top Chinese officials repeatedly sought to reassure partners and potential participants this week that Beijing does not intend to saddle them with high debts and wants BRI to benefit all parties involved.
A joint communique issued at the conclusion of the summit said that leaders had agreed to project financing that respects global debt goals and promotes green growth, in line with a draft seen by Reuters last week.
In a separate statement China said it signed a memorandum of understanding with various countries including Italy, Peru, Barbados, Luxembourg, Peru and Jamaica.
“All of this shows that Belt and Road cooperation is in synch with the times, widely supported, people centered and beneficial to all,” Xi said on Saturday.
Data from Refinitiv shows the total value of projects in the scheme stands at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.