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Mostly Asian Leaders Plan To Attend China's Silk Road Summit In May

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

China, which is hosting a summit on its New Silk Road plan next month, announced on April 18 a list of mostly Asian leaders who will attend.

President Xi Jinping has championed the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a vast infrastructure network across land and sea linking Asia, Africa, and Europe with billions of dollars in railways, ports, and power grids.

China has dedicated $40 billion to a Silk Road Fund and made the project the driving force behind the $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, another Chinese initiative.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said those attending the conference include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Also attending will be Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The only Western leaders to attend are Spain's Mariano Rajoy and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

"One Belt, One Road is to date the most important public good China has given to the world, first proposed by China but for all countries to enjoy," Wang said.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters