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EU Backs Away From Trade Statement in Blow to China’s ‘Modern Silk Road’ Plan


(Tom Phillips – The Guardian)

The EU has dealt a blow to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s bid to lead a global infrastructure revolution, after its members refused to endorse part of the multibillion-dollar plan because it did not include commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency.

Xi made his latest bid for global leadership on Monday, telling leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the world should reject protectionism, embrace globalisation and pull together like a skein of geese.

Xi’s comments came on the second and final day of a high-profile summit in Beijing about his Belt and Road initiative, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure spree that China claims will kickstart a new era of trade and development. The scheme’s ultimate aim – encompassing pipelines and a port in Pakistan, bridges in Bangladesh and railways to Russia – is to create what China calls a “modern Silk Road”. Click here to read more.