Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, right, explains the 5G network system to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, as Mahathir visits to Huawei Executive Briefing Center in Beijing, Thursday, April 25, 2019. Mahathir is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum which start on this weekend. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Massive security in Beijing ahead of Belt and Road meeting

April 25, 2019 - 12:27 am

BEIJING (AP) — Security is tight and traffic snarled in the Chinese capital as world leaders gather for a conference on Beijing's sweeping "Belt-and-Road" infrastructure initiative.

The meeting starting Thursday brings together leaders or envoys from three dozen countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Serbia, Myanmar and Kenya.

Though tightly state-managed by China, the event is casting a spotlight on complaints that the Chinese-backed ports, railways and other infrastructure being built in developing countries leave some stuck with debts they cannot repay.

Some countries have already canceled or renegotiated projects seen as too expensive or unproductive.

Asian and African leaders plan to press for relief from such politically volatile financial burdens. That could bring a note of tension to an event meant to celebrate President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative.

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