The second two-day BRI summit kicked off in Beijing on Friday. The first summit was held on May 14-15, 2017.
The Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative published a 69-page report titled The Belt and Road Initiative: Progress, Contributions, and Prospects.
According to the report, by the end of March, the Chinese government had signed 173 cooperation agreements with 125 countries and 29 international organisations.
In the week leading to the summit's opening day, Chinese leaders signed a slew of agreements and met with dozens of world leaders.
The City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative (GFI) announced that so far 27 firms around the world have signed up to a set of green finance guidelines – the Green Investment Principles – for BRI countries, according to a Thursday press release.
First published in London by the GFI and China’s Green Finance Committee late last year, the principles aim to “incorporate low-carbon and sustainable development into projects in Belt and Road countries.”
The Chinese Ministry of Finance (MoF) published a framework for debt sustainability for participating BRI countries.
“The financial institutions of China and other BRI countries are encouraged to use this framework to conduct debt sustainability analysis and manage debt risks according to the risk rating results, as an important reference for lending decisions,” according to the document.
Separately, on the sidelines of the summit, the MoF also signed an initiative with nine other countries: New Zealand, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, and Syria. These countries are discussing the potential of mutual recognition of accounting standards.
Xi gave the opening speech for the summit. In his speech, he promised to allow more wholly foreign owned enterprises in China, keep renminbi exchange rate stable and safeguard the foreign investment law, which was passed by the People's Congress in March.
According to a speech by Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, Chinese financial institutions have so far provided more than $440bn of infrastructure funding to BRI countries. They have also set up infrastructure investment funds worth more than Rmb320bn ($47.5bn). Sovereigns and corporations in BRI countries have issued more than Rmb65bn of Panda bonds in China.
The US-China trade talk will continue on April 30. US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin will head to Beijing to meet with Liu He, China’s vice premier, according to an official statement from the White House published on Tuesday.
Following those talks, Liu will lead a delegation to Washington for further discussions that begin on May 8.
Xi replied a letter from students of an American high school, Niles North High School, state media Xinhua reported on Sunday.
“I have been to the United States many times,” Xi wrote in the letter. “I remembered the country’s beautiful landscape, hospitable people and diverse culture. I also made many American friends, including young ones. My job is to serve the people. It’s very tiring but very pleasant.”
China cut Rmb341.1bn of taxes in the first quarter. The figure was reported by state newspaper Guangming Daily, and subsequently republished by the Chinese government.