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Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), his wife Peng Liyuan (next to Xi) and other leaders pose for a group photo session at a welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 26, 2019. (Photo by JASON LEE / POOL / AFP)

World leaders gather in Beijing for second Belt and Road Forum

A look at the events on Friday with scenes from the opening ceremony and welcome banquet.
Updated Apr 28, 2019 07:13am

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is being held in Beijing from April 25 to 27, and leaders including heads of state and government from nearly 40 countries will attend the forum's roundtable meeting.

The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.

A total of 126 countries, including developed and developing nations, and 29 international organisations have signed cooperation documents with China on the initiative.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, called for greater attention to tackling climate change and poverty as Pakistan and China enter the next phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The prime minister appreciated the significance of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying it "marks a new and distinct phase in the onward march of nations in the world along the path of globalisation".

Later in the evening, a welcome banquet was hosted by President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan in honour of the world leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech for the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) on Friday, April 26. — AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech for the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) on Friday, April 26. — AP

Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 26. — AFP
Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 26. — AFP

From back left to right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister Imran Khan arrive for the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing. — AP
From back left to right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister Imran Khan arrive for the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing. — AP

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (R) during their meeting at Friendship Palace in Beijing on April 26. — AFP
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (R) during their meeting at Friendship Palace in Beijing on April 26. — AFP

Members of the Chinese Honour Guard prepare for a welcome banquet for leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. — AFP
Members of the Chinese Honour Guard prepare for a welcome banquet for leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. — AFP

A member of the Chinese Honour Guard pictured outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, before the start of the welcome banquet. — AFP
A member of the Chinese Honour Guard pictured outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, before the start of the welcome banquet. — AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wait for leaders to attend a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wait for leaders to attend a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to the welcome banquet at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to the welcome banquet at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. — PID

Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives to attend a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — Reuters
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives to attend a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — Reuters

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (2nd L) and his wife Siti Hasmah arrive to attend the welcome banquet. — Reuters
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (2nd L) and his wife Siti Hasmah arrive to attend the welcome banquet. — Reuters

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) arrives to attend the welcome banquet. — AFP
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) arrives to attend the welcome banquet. — AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin table seat is seen with a full set and Chinese President Xi Jinping table spot, left, is seen without a set yet placed on the table, which are put at the last minute ahead of a welcome banquet for the visiting leaders. — AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin table seat is seen with a full set and Chinese President Xi Jinping table spot, left, is seen without a set yet placed on the table, which are put at the last minute ahead of a welcome banquet for the visiting leaders. — AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping raises his glass and proposes a toast at the end of his speech during the welcome banquet. — AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping raises his glass and proposes a toast at the end of his speech during the welcome banquet. — AFP