China pledges $124 billion for new Silk Road, says open to everyone

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) during a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) during a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 13, 2017. Picture taken May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 13, 2017. Picture taken May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $124 billion on Sunday for his ambitious new Silk Road plan, saying everyone was welcome to join what he envisioned would be a path for peace and prosperity for the world.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Argentine President Mauricio Macri arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

China has touted what it formally calls the Belt and Road initiative as a new way to boost development since Xi unveiled the plan in 2013, aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool

“We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy,” Xi told the opening of a summit on the new Silk Road.

“We should jointly create an environment that will facilitate opening up and development, establish a fair, equitable

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives for the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives for the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

and transparent system of international trade and investment rules,” he added.

Xi pledged a massive funding boost to the new Silk Road, including:

– an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund

– 250 billion yuan in loans from China Development Bank

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

– 130 billion yuan in loans from Export-Import Bank of China

– 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and international institutions in new Silk Road countries

– encouraging financial institutions to expand their overseas yuan fund businesses to the tune of 300 billion yuan

– 2 billion yuan in emergency food aid

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool

– $1 billion to a South–South Cooperation fund

– $1 bln for cooperation projects in countries on the new Silk Road

He did not give a timeframe.

Leaders from 29 countries are attending the forum, which ends on Monday.

China formally calls the scheme in English the Belt and Road initiative.

Some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool/

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool/

China has rejected criticism of the plan and the summit, saying the scheme is open to all, is a win-win and aimed only at promoting prosperity.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTES/Aly Song

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, in Beijing, China May 14, 2017. REUTES/Aly Song

“What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence,” Xi said, adding pursuit of the initiative will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

“What we hope to achieve is a new model of win-win cooperation.”

Some of China’s most reliable allies and partners will attend the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

There are also several European leaders attending, including the prime ministers of Spain, Italy, Greece and Hungary.

(Additional reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Randy Fabi)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistani officials at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistani officials at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A paramilitary policemen secures the venue of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A paramilitary policemen secures the venue of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A paramilitary policemen secures the venue of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A paramilitary policemen secures the venue of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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