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China needs diplomatic skills to sell Belt and Road Initiative

Regional suspicions remain about Beijing's intentions in fostering infrastructure network

| China

When Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered his keynote speech on May 14 to 28 heads of states, leaders of international organizations and delegations from 130 nations at the opening ceremony of the China's Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, he urged his audience to achieve results through greater openness and cooperation. Xi cautioned that countries should respect each other's interests and argued that the Belt and Road Initiative would promote fruitful exchanges and coexistence.

The Belt and Road Initiative, announced by Xi in 2013, aims to connect nearly 70 economies through a network of roads, railways, bridges, pipelines and ports. Also known as the "One Belt, One Road" and "New Silk Road" project, the initiative is 12 times bigger in scale than America's postwar Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe and it will require the significant participation of all stakeholder countries.

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