China concludes second belt and road forum with efforts to address ongoing debt concerns

China concludes second belt and road forum with efforts to address ongoing debt concerns

The Second Belt and Road Forum will conclude today in Beijing. Many non-Western countries have signed onto China’a Belt and

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Photo: Reuters

The Second Belt and Road Forum will conclude today in Beijing.

Many non-Western countries have signed onto China’a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but, more recently, some Western Countries have as well—including Italy, the first G20 member to join. Additionally, countries like France, the UK, Germany and Australia are members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which funds many BRI projects.

This week’s forum brought together a number of leaders and representatives from developing Asian and African nations, which have been the primary BRI partners that Beijing has attracted previously.

However, some other notable attendees were IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Japanese Special Envoy Toshihiro Nikai. While neither the IMF nor Japan is a BRI partner—indeed, Japan is even an opponent—cooperative development outside of the BRI was stressed throughout the forum.

Thus, China’s goal of incorporating developed nations and institutions, in addition to developing ones, into the BRI remains marginally successful. But, the attendance of Ms Lagarde and Mr Toshihiro could signal increasingly positive opinions of the BRI among Western powers, which is also evidenced by Italy’s collaboration. Going forward, expect China to invest more heavily in European projects, as a means for expanding the BRI westward—a project which could necessitate collaboration with developed, Western countries.

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