Xi defends BRI; says China has no geo-political calculations

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday strongly defended his ambitious multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying China has no “geo-political calculations” but skirted concerns over its projects traversing through disputed regions such as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Touted as Xi’s pet project, the BRI has become a major stumbling block in India-China relations as the controversial $ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been listed as its “flagship project”.

In a keynote speech outlining his vision at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at the Chinese city of Boao, Xi said the BRI may be China’s idea but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world.

“China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others,” he said in an apparent reference to apprehensions that the BRI in which China is investing billions of dollars in port, road and rail connectivity projects all over the…

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