China’s President, Xi Jinping, has called on world leaders to build an open world economy, amid a rising protectionism policy in the West.

Speaking at a roundtable meeting of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing, the Chinese leader said today’s world economy was experiencing a challenging moment with “rising uncertainties and destabilizing factors”.

The BRF is a top-level platform for international cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was initially proposed by the Chinese President in 2013 and seeks to rebuild the ancient trade routes to link China to Europe, Asia and Africa.

China, he said, was ready to work with all parties to booster cooperation mechanisms on the basis of extensive consultation, joint efforts, shared benefits and equal opportunities for all.

Since the launch of BRI, China had signed over 170 agreements with 126 countries and 29 international organizations.

President Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, saying that China valued a promise as much as tons of gold.

At the opening of the forum on Friday, President Xi stressed the need to build high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive 

He said in the past two years, BRI had made all round progress in policy, infrastructure and people to people exchanges.

There are growing concerns over debt sustainability in many countries but President Xi said China was already taking steps to ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all BRI projects.

British Finance Minister, Philip Hammond, hailed BRI as “an extraordinarily ambitious vision” but said the initiative must work for everyone involved for it to turn into a sustainable reality.

Heads of state and government from 37 countries and other representatives from around the world attended the three-day forum.

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