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Xi says Belt and Road Initiative is not China's Marshall Plan

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Chinese President Xi Jinping told an international economic forum in Russia that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not China's Marshall Plan, stressing that the project is based on the principles of mutual benefits and shared growth, and dismissing allegations that it is a new form of imperialism.

Xi said China has never colonized other countries and will not seek to do so. The initial idea of the BRI was very simple, which is to use historical memories of dynamic exchanges to energize world economy, Xi went on to say.

The project has become more dynamic, with more countries expressing willingness to join, Xi said during a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

China held the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in April. China has signed deals with nearly 130 countries and 30 international organizations under the BRI framework, Xi said.

The proposal is a public good, and has earned worldwide admiration, he added.

Echoing President Xi, President Putin said he attended the second Belt and Road forum held in Beijing and he saw all leading economies, including those from the European Union, taking part. At the forum, Russia saw that China is not forcing anything on anyone but simply making proposals, Putin said.

Russia and China agreed to work on expanding cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, Putin added.

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