NEW DELHI:The United States will send a delegation led by White House adviser Matt Pottinger to a two-day summit for China’s new Silk Road plan that begins tomorrow, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The announcement that a US delegation would be attending what is China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year coincides with the unveiling of an important trade deal between China and the United States.
Sources told NDTV that India is likely to boycott the summit. India’s main objection to China’s plan to build ports, railways and power links across Asia and on to Europe is that the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key part of the plan, runs through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
Leaders from 29 countries will attend the forum in Beijing, an event orchestrated to promote Chinese President Xi’s vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.
Some of China’s most reliable allies and partners will attend the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to push Chinese influence globally.
They are also concerned at the presence of leaders from countries with poor human rights records.
China has rejected criticism of the plan and the summit, saying the scheme is open to all, is a win-win and is only about promoting prosperity.