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Belt and Road

Hong Kong uses Belt and Road summit to kindle Middle East ties

Territory follows Beijing in seeking new friends amid chilly relations with West

The Belt and Road summit in Hong Kong includes booths encouraging activity in the Middle East. (Photo by Kensaku Ihara)

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong is pursuing closer ties with the Middle East while hosting a Belt and Road Initiative summit this week, as the West turns its back on the Chinese territory due to crackdowns on pro-democracy activities.

"Hong Kong has returned to the world's center stage," the territory's chief executive, John Lee, proclaimed Wednesday in opening remarks at the eighth Hong Kong-led summit promoting China's international Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. Lee noted that government officials from more than 10 countries were present.

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