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China's Xi aims for two birds with one stone

Belt and Road Forum polishes the country's image and boosts president's power

TETSUSHI TAKAHASHI, Head of Nikkei's China Headquarters, SHUNSUKE TABETA, Nikkei Staff Writer | China

BEIJING -- Looking satisfied and no doubt enjoying his moment in the international spotlight, Chinese President Xi Jinping feted delegates to his country's vision of a huge economic zone linking China to Europe during the Belt and Road Forum on May 14 and 15 in Beijing.

Ostensibly held to promote China's Belt and Road Initiative, which would create a modern-day Silk Road, the timing of the event implied that Xi's underlying aim was to ensure that this fall's National Congress of the Communist Party is a success, with him as the main benefactor.

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