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Belt and Road

Snubbed by the West, China courts ASEAN at Belt and Road expo

Human rights abuse allegations keep blue-chip companies away from Chongqing fair

Chongqing Mayor Tang Liangzhi speaks at the Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade on Friday. (Photo by Shunsuke Tabeta)

CHONGQING, China -- The Belt and Road expo held in southwestern China that kicked off this week was billed as an opportunity to join "hands with the West for a bright future." The guest list featured a who's who of Western blue-chip companies invited to invest in the massive infrastructure project that is a centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping's foreign policy.

The only problem, none of them showed. In response, Chinese organizers are using the expo, which held its opening ceremony on Friday, as a venue to highlight partnerships with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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