Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend Boao Forum for Asia

China's Xi Jinping says Belt and Road Initiative needs to reject protectionism, 30 leaders agree to support
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Roundtable Summit Phase One Sessions of Belt and Road Forum at the International Conference Center in Yanqi Lake on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the Boao Forum for Asia, dubbed the Asian Davos, a meeting of economic and political leaders, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The forum, scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, a coastal town in China's Hainan island province, will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity", Xinhua news agency reported.

Xi will give an opening speech to provide "a new vision of development that will offer greater opportunities for the world", said State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press conference.

The Chinese President will also hold meetings with leaders attending the economic forum, he said. This year will mark Xi's third attendance as President.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Presidents of Philippines and Austria, Rodrigo Duterte and Alexander van der Bellen respectively, will be present.

The Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Singapore, the Netherlands and Mongolia will also be participating.

Although the discussions in the forum will focus primarily on economic issues, Wang did not rule out the possibility of discussing regional political issues, such as the sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea.

The forum will be attended by more than 2,000 political and economic leaders, including the heads of large multinational companies, both Chinese and international. (IANS)