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The Belt and Road Initiative Was Prominent in the Xi-Trump Summit

Nov. 10, 2017 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping raised the issue of the Belt and Road Initiative various times over the course of his meetings with President Donald Trump and the large delegation of businessmen that accompanied him on his historic trip to China, once again inviting the United States to join with this driver of global physical economic development. And although no formal agreement was announced in that regard, at least one of the major economic deals that was inked during the trip, is explicitly focused around projects involving the Belt and Road.

At the concluding joint press conference given by the two heads of state, President Xi stated:

"For China and the United States, win-win cooperation is the only right choice and the pathway toward a better future.... It is necessary to formulate and launch economic cooperation plans for the next phase to have continued in-depth discussion on trade imbalance, exports, the investment environment, market openness, and other issues, and work to support practical cooperation in energy, infrastructure, the Belt and Road Initiative, and other areas."

Trump’s concluding formulation at that press conference is also notable, in that it reflects his recognition of the enormous potential of the moment:

"It’s a very special time, and we do indeed have that very, very special opportunity. A great responsibility has been placed on our shoulders, President—it’s truly a great responsibility—and I hope we can rise to the occasion and help our countries and our citizens reach their highest destinies and their fullest potentials. I want to thank you again—you’re a very special man—for your gracious hospitality."

President Xi returned to the issue of the Belt and Road in a discussion with businessmen and officials of the two countries:

"We will continue to encourage Chinese companies to proactively invest in the U.S., and we welcome U.S. companies and financial institutions to take part in projects under the Belt and Road Initiative."

One such American company that has taken up that invitation is General Electric, which signed an agreement with the Silk Road Fund, one of China’s state funds for the Belt and Road Initiative, to "jointly invest in electric power grids, new energy and oil and gas, in countries and regions along the Belt and Road," China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement.

"The cooperation between the Silk Road Fund and GE will not only boost cooperation between high-end manufacturing industries from China and the U.S., but also promote economic and trade development in the regions where investment will occur,"

SAFE added.