Beijing : World leaders are gathering in Beijing from Thursday for a summit on China’s Belt and Road initiative amid growing criticism of the project.
The sweeping infrastructure project aims to expand global trade links.
The initiative has funded trains, roads, and ports in many countries, but has left some saddled with debt.
Some see it a bold bid for geopolitical influence, with the US particularly critical of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy”.
At the first day of the forum in Beijing, Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun said China aims to make the Belt and Road initiative sustainable and to prevent debt risks.
Leaders from 37 countries and dozens of officials are due to attend the three-day summit, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.