Pakistan, China sign various agreements in Beijing

Ethiopia's permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Tekeda Alemu told China Daily in NY that the initiative offers opportunities for participating countries to mobilize resources and speed up development.

But India is not attending the high-profile B&R summit.

He said Pakistan's human resource had benefitted tremendously from its interaction with experts and academia under the NEA.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif felicitated his Chinese counterpart for hosting OBOR forum and said that Pakistan fully supported the visionary project.

As of late, Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui had offered to rename the CPEC to mollify Indian worries about the venture, however, pulled back his comments not long after Indian outside service representative Gopal Baglay said India had not gotten any proposition from China on renaming the CPEC. He is accompanied by four chief ministers and five federal ministers.

Also present in the delegation are the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan, Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. We should all contribute to and participate in it. CPEC has geo-strategic implications for India.

China-Pakistan Friendship Association President Sha Zukang has told the official media that China has already committed Dollars 46 billion Chinese investments for various energy and infrastructure related projects in Pakistan.

In April, China National Film Museum announced that, starting this year, it will work with other Belt and Road countries to hold annual film events, including screenings, awards and exhibitions.

India opposes the CPEC as it runs through the Pakistan- Occupied Kashmir. Similarly, the MoU also aims to promote people-to-people exchanges of different levels between the two countries.

In a strongly-worded statement issued hours before the opening of the forum in the Chinese capital, India said the connectivity intiative must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity. "Only by respecting the sovereignty of countries involved, can regional connectivity corridors fulfill their promise and avoid differences and discord", Modi had said, in his inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue in January.

According to the Russian academic, Chinese President Xi Jinping's foreign strategy is the continuation of Deng Xiaoping's policy of "openness" and Jiang Zemin's motto "to go outside". He had warned that New Delhi's absence "will not be constructive" for bilateral ties. "If India doesn't attend the forum, the Chinese people will ask questions".

The Premier was warmly welcomed by high-level Chinese government officials and staff of Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing. "If you're absent, you have no voice".

But the project is also controversial because it will run through disputed territory between Pakistan and India.