Spain rejects China's Silk Road plan | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Spain rejects China's Silk Road plan

Spain will not sign on to China's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" initiative that seeks to better link Asia and Europe, a senior government official said Tuesday ahead of a visit by President Xi Jinping.

The multi-billion-dollar initiative, unveiled by Xi in 2013, aims to link the continents through a network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

Beijing plans to develop the network through 65 countries representing an estimated 60 percent of the world's population and a third of its economic output.

So far, around 70 countries have signed a memorandum of understanding pledging their interest in the project -- an agreement that Beijing values as it seeks to expand its project.

In Europe, countries such as Poland and Greece have signed but the project has created considerable anxiety that it masks an attempted Beijing influence grab.

"We're not going to sign the initiative," said an official from the Spanish prime minister's office, who refused to be named.

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