China’s Xi lays out $900bn Silk Road vision amid claims of empire-building

Global leaders attend ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure summit to praise plan Xi Jinping says will bring a new ‘golden age’ of globalisation

Chinese president Xi Jinping has kicked off a two-day showcase of what some call the most ambitious development project ever by comparing his country to a peace-loving explorer set on transforming the world with treasure-laden galleys not warships, guns or swords.

Speaking at the start of a high-profile summit about China’s “Belt and Road initiative”, Xi hailed his multi-billion dollar infrastructure crusade as a means of building a modern-day version of the ancient Silk Road and a new “golden age” of globalisation.

Related: The $900bn question: What is the Belt and Road initiative?

Related: World’s biggest building project aims to make China great again

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