A chef takes a selfie near a live broadcast image of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at the leaders summit of the Belt and Road Forum, at the media center in Beijing, Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Xi: China wants to expand sprawling infrastructure project

April 27, 2019 - 12:11 am

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping has called for more countries to join China's sprawling infrastructure-building initiative after he promised to improve standards in response to complaints about debt and other problems.

Speaking at a gathering of leaders to celebrate his signature project, Xi tried Saturday to dispel complaints the Belt and Road Initiative does too little for developing countries that have borrowed from Beijing to build ports, railways and other facilities.

Xi says his government wants to "deliver benefits to all."

The number of governments that have signed agreements to support Belt and Road has steadily risen despite opposition from the United States and other governments that worry Beijing is using the initiative to increase its strategic influence.

Xi says, "We need to encourage the full participation of more countries and companies."