China refused to invite “some leaders of developed countries” for the Belt and Road Forum

Europe is “avoiding” participation in the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) to be held later this year in China, with European leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reportedly not having plans to attend the forum, Chinese ‘The Global Times’ informs.

A source familiar with the event preparation told the Global Times on Friday that the vast majority of invitations of the upcoming forum are extended to those of developing countries, while some of developed countries will not be included.

According to the source, the core purpose of the forum is to collaborate on development, the source said, with the majority of participants of the BRI being emerging economies. Consequently, invited leaders will come mostly from developing countries.

Information revealed by the source also comes as a response to some Western media reports, which claimed that ‘foreign officials agreeing to attend the BRF are currently “fewer than expected”.’ The source said China has not extended invitations to some of the Western leaders as mentioned in the reports, and the speculation of “avoiding participation” is simply not valid in the absence of such invitations.

China is currently in the process of carefully considering the invitation list for the summit forum. “It will not be held only this three times; some leaders may participate in this year’s forum, while others may attend the next. China hopes that leaders of participating countries will have ample opportunities for meaningful expression and in-depth communication, and will receive thoughtful arrangements,” the source stressed.

As an initiative that has garnered participation from over three-quarters of the world’s nations and numerous international organizations, the Belt and Road Initiative has received widespread acclaim from the international community, particularly from developing countries.

While China currently has no plans to invite the leaders of developed countries mentioned in the reports, other personnel from these countries who wish to participate in activities within the framework of the forum are welcomed by China,” the source added. “If they choose not to attend, that’s OK too. Certain Western media need not overestimate their importance; the success of the summit forum is not determined by the number of developed countries in attendance.”

Over the past decade, China has collaborated closely with various parties to jointly build the Belt and Road, transforming blueprints into reality and translating them into tangible outcomes and benefits for people across nations. Data reveal that over the course of a decade, the Belt and Road Initiative has spurred investment of nearly a trillion US dollars, resulting in the formation of over 3,000 cooperative projects and generating 420,000 job opportunities for countries along the route, thereby lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty, ‘The Global Times’ stresses.