Sheikh Mohammed in China for Belt and Road Forum - GulfToday

Sheikh Mohammed in China for Belt and Road Forum


Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum arrived in Beijing to participate in the summit of the Belt and Road Forum.

Forsan news site tweeted a video of Sheikh Mohammed receiving a red carpet welcome from Chinese diplomats and dignitaries.

China is expected to promote a recalibrated version of its Belt and Road initiative at a summit of heads of state this week in Beijing, seeking to allay criticism that its flagship infrastructure policy fuels indebtedness and lacks transparency.

The summit is scheduled to take place from April 25 to April 27.

Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, and according to data from Refinitiv, the total value of projects in the scheme is at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

The complicated, hot-and-cold relationship between Europe and China takes another turn this week, as several EU leaders break ranks to attend the Belt and Road summit in Beijing.

The list of European leaders attending the showcase for China's global influence -- held Thursday through Saturday -- is dominated by eurosceptics and populists eager to vex Brussels, as well as countries hard-up for investments.

Giussepe Conte, head of Italy's coalition government, will headline the European contingent, with Hungary's firebrand Viktor Orban also taking a break from his virulent anti-EU campaigning at home to visit Beijing.

Austria's Sebastian Kurz, whose cabinet includes members of the far right, will make the trip, as will Greece's leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose country turned to China at the peak of the debt crisis when ties with the EU were at their worst and Athens desperate.

France and Germany and most EU states are sending only ministers to the summit, with diplomats behind the scenes quick to castigate those that weaken European unity against China.

Belt and Road "is a development that we didn't see coming," a senior EU diplomat admitted to AFP. "There's a big risk of complications between the member states."


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