Only one leader of a big Western country is attending China's most important diplomatic event of the year, a summit next month on President Xi Jinping's New Silk Road strategy, as China's foreign minister denied it had been snubbed, Reuters reported.
Xi has championed the "One Belt, One Road" or OBOR initiative to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe, a landmark program to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids.
Reuters reported that China has dedicated $40 billion USD to a Silk Road Fund and the idea was the driving force behind the establishment of the $50 billion China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
According to Reuters, diplomatic sources in Beijing said China had hoped for at least some senior Western leaders to attend the summit, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, but a list of attendees announced by Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday included only one leader from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
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