Spain-Madrid

A senior Spanish government official said that his country will not sign China's ambitious "Silk Road" plan seeking to improve ties between Asia and Europe.

In Tuesday and before Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Madrid, The Spanish Governmental official pointed out that his country doesn't satisfy with the chinese plan of the Silk Road!

The multi-billion dollar initiative, unveiled in 2013, aims to link the two continents through a network of ports, railways, roads and industrial zones.

Beijing plans to develop a network of 65 countries representing about 60 percent of the world's population and one-third of its economic output.

So far, some 70 countries have signed the MoU to express their interest in the project, which is pleasing to China, and seeking to expand the project.

In Europe, countries such as Poland and Greece have signed the project, which has raised a state of deep concern as it hides Beijing's efforts to extend influence.

"We will not sign the initiative," an official at the prime minister's office, who declined to be identified, said.

"Europe has an initiative to communicate with Asia, so we think the Europeans should work within this initiative," he said.

The official pointed to the European Union in September plans to develop a parallel network of infrastructure to connect with Asia.

But Madrid's position ahead of a state visit by Xi to Spain later Tuesday could anger China.

Jean-Francois de Miglio, president of the Asia Research Center in France, said the memorandum of understanding signed by countries with China had little legal value, "but it is a sign of its willingness to work with China."

"But for China it is important to sign the plan."

Sources |agencies MPX / AS / B

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