With China eager to step into the caveat being created by the rise in protectionism in the United States, this was a special year for the Forum: There were hints of China’s soft power ambition everywhere, from the décor, the fluent English conversation with the students chaperoning us, to the topics chosen for the various panels and lectures.China’s Premier Li Keqiang gave an eloquent speech in Chinese, talking about his country’s role in today’s troubled world, occasionally pausing to correct the translator’s English; at one point, when the translator said “passions”, he turned to her and she quickly corrected herself, “emotions.” There were lectures by global corporate leaders and prominent economists.The Belt and Road Initiative calls for building ports, railways and other facilities in a vast arc of 65 countries.Other countries welcome the investment but governments including the United States, Russia and India have expressed unease Beijing also might be using the effort to increase its political stature.While my girlfriend and I danced, my husband and hers were approached not only by women, but also men coordinating work for their girls.It is usually benign and a simple “no thanks” will do.The two-day meeting gives him a platform to promote his image as a global leader and free trade advocate in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has called for import restrictions.
Life partners were chosen out of small social or work circles, and casual sex was taboo.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping chat during a breakfast prior to the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Sunday, May 14, 2017.
(Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) BEIJING — President Xi Jinping called Sunday for closer cooperation across Asia and Europe in areas from anti-terrorism to finance, as leaders from 29 countries gathered to promote a Chinese trade initiative that could increase Beijing’s global influence.
Speaking before an audience that included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi said his government has “no desire to impose our will on others.” But he called for “economic integration” and cooperation on financial regulation, anti-terrorism and security — fields in which China’s heft as the world’s No. “We should foster a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” said Xi.
He called for stepped-up action against terrorism and what he called its root causes of poverty and social injustice.