Europeans Snub Trade Text at China's Silk Road Summit
Several European countries are refusing to sign a trade statement at China's Silk Road summit, a diplomat said on Monday, dealing a setback to Beijing's efforts to gain full support for its initiative.
In this file photo, a map illustrating China's silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called "One Belt, One Road" megaproject, is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China. (Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip)
Beijing: Several European countries are refusing to sign a trade statement at China's Silk Road summit, a diplomat said on Monday, dealing a setback to Beijing's
efforts to gain full support for its initiative.
Nearly 30 world leaders are taking part in the global summit on China's Silk Road plan, a huge infrastructure project which Beijing hopes will revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.
The forum was to culminate today evening in a final communique from heads of state, with statements on topics spanning finance and relations between peoples.
The diplomat said all the European nations taking part in the summit's trade panel collectively decided to rebuff the text because they believe it does not sufficiently address European concerns surrounding transparency of public procurement and social and environmental standards.
China only presented the document to negotiators last week, telling them it could no longer be reworked, according to the official.
"It's very important for us and our companies that the calls for our projects under the Belt and Road initiative are transparent, that they are non-discriminatory, and that they comply with international standards," German Economic Minister Brigitte Zypries said at the trade panel Sunday.
"I think there is still room for improvement in this area."
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