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Belt and Road Forum kicks off in China

 
China is hosting a forum on its Belt and Road project, the foreign policy initiative China says will build infrastructure around the world and promote global trade.
 
Kim Hyesung reports.
 
The second Belt and Road Forum has officially kicked off in Beijing.
Nearly 40 heads of state and government, and 5-thousand representatives from 150 countries and 90 international organizations, are attending the forum.
 
"We held the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation here two years ago and blueprinted cooperation featuring policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity. And today, friends from across the world gather here again, and I look forward to working with all of you."
 
Known as the 21st century Silk Road, the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative was unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013... aimed at boosting trade and connecting Asia, Europe and Africa through railroads and maritime routes.
The initiative covers over 70 countries, which together account for half of the world's population and a quarter of global GDP.
 
Korea's finance minister Hong Nam-ki is also attending the forum, and met with high level Chinese government officials including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank chief to boost economic cooperation.
 
Also at the forum is Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said China's Belt and Road initiative fits perfectly with the goals of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union to boost trade in the region.
 
china belt and road forum 2019 opens
 
Putin held bilateral talks with Xi Jinping and discussed bilateral economic cooperation, and North Korea related issues.
 
This came just after arriving from his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Russia.

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