China's leader offers billions for new Silk Road initiative

Silk Road (by DW)
Silk Road (by DW)
Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country's state banks will provide tens of billions of dollars for projects that are part of his signature foreign policy initiative linking China to much of Asia, Europe and Africa.

((AP) -- Xi made the announcement in his opening address Sunday to a two-day "Belt and Road" conference in Beijing that brought together leaders from 29 countries.

The gathering is the latest high-profile appearance for Xi that casts him as a global leader and chief advocate for free trade.

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey also spoke at the opening ceremony.

Washington is being represented by a junior delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the president and senior director for East Asia at the National Security Council.