World leaders are currently heading towards Beijing for a summit on China’s Belt and Road initiative amid growing criticism of the project, including the United States.
The sweeping infrastructure project aims to expand global trade links, which surpasses Asia, Europe and Africa.
The initiative has funded trains, roads, and ports in many countries, but has left some saddled with debt.
Some see it as a bold bid for geopolitical influence, with the US particularly critical of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy”.
Chinese officials have tried to address concerns surrounding President Xi Jinping’s project, which is expected to involve more than $1 trillion in investments.
At the first day of the forum in the Chinese capital, China’s Finance Minister Liu Kun said the country aims to make the Belt and Road initiative sustainable and to prevent debt risks.
Juist recently, Sri Lanka has given up its port to China after they were not able to pay loans from the latter.
Last year via his speech, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Belt and Road was not a “geostrategic concept” but was part of efforts to build “a community with a shared future for mankind together with countries around the globe.”
Leaders from 37 countries and dozens of officials are due to attend the three-day summit, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.