If it joins OBOR, India will have very small role to play

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Hundreds of delegates are attending the forum, including 29 heads of state.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he had every reason to be confident in the future of the Belt and Road initiative, his signature plan to forge a path of peace, inclusiveness and free trade for the globe, beginning with Eurasia.

Taking its protest over the China's controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is traversing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India on 14 May 2017 boycotted China's high-profile Belt and Road (B&R) Forum.

China made its latest bid for global leadership on Monday (15 May) when President Xi said to Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the world should say no to protectionism and embrace the new era of integration, internationalism, and globalization.

On Saturday, Pakistan signed new deals with China worth almost $500 million ahead of Beijing's global forum on its "Silk Road" trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said.

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The inclusive tone of China's Belt and Road push stands in stark contrast to US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy, which included the scrapping of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, a regional trade pact involving Pacific Rim countries but excluding China.

The B&R is a grand economic cooperation and development plan open to everyone, and is aimed at improving infrastructure in countries along the B&R route, thus benefiting the local people, it said.

"On Saturday, Pakistan and China inked new deals worth almost $500 million, covering airport, sea port and highway construction".

"We should foster a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security", said Xi.

"This is an important lesson that can be drawn from the global financial crisis and is still very relevant to the development of the world economy today", Xi added.

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The CPEC, a cluster of road, rail and energy projects, will connect Pakistan's southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and Kashgar in China's far western Xinjiang province.

"Not only does Russian Federation support this project, it will also actively participate in its implementation with China and other countries of interest", Putin said.

A spokesman said, "We have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue".

Mining major Rio Tinto (LN:RIO) sees an opportunity in China's large-scale "Belt and Road Initiative" that was launched with great fanfare on the weekend.

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