China's Silk Road forum latest effort to boost Xi's stature

Turkey will play a key role in the Belt and Road Initiative as its geographical and cultural bridge links with east and west, and it's an indispensable partner with China, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. The Asian Development Bank says the region, home to 60% of the world's people, needs more than $26 trillion of such investment by 2030 to keep economies growing.

China claims that the OBOR is created to benefit the world, suggesting a certain degree of altruism, but some observers don't see the OBOR in such a positive light.

And this weekend, some of the world's most powerful leaders are gathering in Beijing for a summit centered on One Belt, One Road.

'Australia sees some complementarities between initiatives we're undertaking like Northern Australia and China's [scheme],' Mr Ciobo told AAP.

Nepal on Friday signed an agreement to be part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious plan to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe, a move that could alarm India, which jostles with China for influence in Kathmandu.

Sharif will also hold bilateral meetings with several other heads of state on the sidelines of the forum.

Calling for extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits, the Belt and Road Initiative focuses on promoting policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak speaks to reporters at a press conference in Beijing May 12, 2017.

China wants to revive an ancient network of silk land and ocean trade routes of centuries past.

Many infrastructure projects were long-term and required large amounts of investment, so a system of "policy banks, commercial lenders and global development institutions" was needed to ensure their financial sustainability, Pan said.

And while China is happy to pump money into other countries around the world, it's much less willing to accept foreign investment in many parts of its own economy.

The second was his friendly meeting at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By building and improving infrastructure among the Silk Road members, China hopes to increase trade in Eurasia.

China has earmarked $US40 billion ($A54 billion) for a special fund, this is on top of the $US100 billion capitalisation of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which will have projects involved.

The burning questions, according to one diplomat, range from whether the summit will be a one-off event or ultimately turn into an annual parley, to whether China will set up overseas offices to monitor its projects abroad and establish a working relationship with foreign governments.

China believes the grand scheme will boost economic growth and trade, and cut down on transit time for goods.

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