Second Belt and Road Forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), his wife Peng Liyuan (next to Xi) and other leaders pose for a group photo session at a welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 26, 2019. (Photo by JASON LEE / POOL / AFP)

Second Belt and Road Forum

Key Takeaways

Magazine Desk

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing from April 25 to 27 under the theme “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”. The forum consisted of the opening ceremony, the Leaders’ Roundtable, the high-level meeting, 12 thematic forums and a CEO conference. 40 leaders attended the roundtable, including heads of state and government from 38 countries including China, United Nations (UN) Secretary General and Managing Director the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Over 6,000 foreign guests from 150 countries and 92 international organizations participated in the forum. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, was one of the seven leaders to address the inaugural session. In his address, PM Khan called for greater attention to tackling climate change and poverty as Pakistan and China enter the next phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Second Belt and Road Forum took place in April in Beijing, featuring participants from more than 150 countries. The BRI Summit served as a forum for political and economic leaders to sell their vision for the initiative’s ongoing projects. The Chinese government has notably shifted its discursive focus since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, and is now downplaying fears of debt encumbrance, corruption, and environmental degradation. But this should not distract us from the key fact that participation in the BRI continues to grow, including from traditional U.S. allies in Asia and Europe. China’s efforts to create a continental logistics network that brings Central and Southeast Asian nations further into its sphere of influence are continuing apace, with all of the strategic implications that expansion implies.

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