India Today - - INSIDE - By Ananth Kr­ish­nan in Bei­jing

As a grim-faced Xi Jin­ping took the stage at the China Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on May 14, the Chi­nese pres­i­dent may have al­lowed him­self a smile. Less than four years after he floated the idea of build­ing ‘a new silk road' - sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives by Europe, the US and Rus­sia had largely fiz­zled out-here was Xi, be­ing feted by 29 vis­it­ing world lead­ers, from Putin and Er­do­gan to Sharif and Wick­re­mas­inghe, as the new cham­pion of glob­al­i­sa­tion.

Xi of­fered over a hun­dred bil­lion dol­lars in loans and in­vest­ments at the first Belt and Road Fo­rum (BRF), a sum­mit to for­malise his pet One Belt, One Road (OBOR) plan that con­sists of a land belt of eco­nomic cor­ri­dors to Europe and a mar­itime silk road net­work of ports in South­east and South Asia.

The con­spic­u­ous ab­sen­tee, of course, was In­dia, the only ma­jor coun­try to boy­cott the BRF. While no big West­ern leader was present, Trump sent a fairly high-pow­ered del­e­ga­tion, led by Se­nior Direc­tor for Asia at the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (NSC), Matt Pot­tinger. The UK, France and Ger­many sent min­is­ters

Xi with Putin and other world lead­ers at the BRF venue

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