PM Wickremesinghe holds talks with Aung Saan Suu kyi, Najib Razak

BRF: To spread peace, prosperity, not destabilise any country – Xi Jinping


by Zacki Jabbar  in  China

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Monday that the Belt and Road  Initiative was not meant to destabilise any country or region, but  spread peace and prosperity.

 Delivering the opening address at the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation held at the China National Convention Center, which was being attended by 28 world leaders including Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Chinese President emphasised that the overall objective of the Forum, was to  create a big family that coexisted harmoniously.

 On the sidelines of the BRF Premier Wickremesinghe held wide ranging  talks with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Myanmar Counsellor Aung Saan Suu Kyi.

 The Forum  takes place amidst concerted attempts by China to get on board  India for its Silk Route Project, popularly know as One Belt One Road.

  The United States of America sent a delegation headed by Matt Pottinger, Special assistant to  President Donald Trump and Senior director for Asia.

 Other delegates include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and journalists from over 130 countries, and representatives of key international organizations, such as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Ki and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

 The Sri Lankan delegation comprises the  Prime Minister’s  wife Maithree Wickremesinghe, Minister for Special Projects Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema, Urban Development Water Supply and Drainage Minister Rauff Hakeem and Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Karunasena Kodituwakku, the Premiers Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Additional Secretary Saman Athaudahetti and Personal Assistant  Sandra Perera, Foreign Ministry’s Director for Asia and Pacific Savitri Panabokke, Director General of External Resources D.M.S. de Silva.  

The Chinese President said that the focus should be on  international relations featuring win-win cooperation and forging non confrontational  dialogue and friendship, rather than alliances.

  The Belt and Road should be built into a road for peace, as the pursuit of the initiative requires a peaceful and stable environment, he noted adding that ancient silk routes had thrived in times of peace, but lost its vigor in times of war.

  Xi said countries should respect each others sovereignty, dignity, territorial integrity, development paths, social systems, core interests and major concerns.

The other heads of State and government leaders attending the  Forum  are Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Czech President Milos Zeman, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Swiss President Doris Leuthard, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and  Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

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