Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum is displayed on a big screen near a decoration depicting Chinese Admiral Zheng He who commanded expeditionary voyages across Asia and East Africa in the 15th century in Beijing, China, Sunday, May 14, 2017. China will seek to burnish President Xi Jinping's stature as a world-class statesman at the international gathering centered on his signature foreign policy effort that envisions a future world order in which all roads lead to Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China's Xi says Silk Road plan boosts finance, security ties

May 14, 2017 - 1:22 am

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for closer cooperation among countries across Asia and Europe in areas from anti-terrorism to finance, as officials from dozens of governments met to promote a Beijing-led initiative to expand trade links.

Speaking to an audience Sunday that included Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of 29 other countries, Xi outlined the most ambitious political vision yet for the "Belt and Road Initiative," a multibillion-dollar project to build ports, railways and other facilities.

The initiative would provide some of the $7 trillion of investment in infrastructure the Asian Development Bank says the region needs this decade. But governments including Russia, the United States and India are uneasy that China is using its status as the second-largest global economy to expand political influence.

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