People take pictures in front of a "Golden Bridge on Silk Road" installation, set up ahead of the Belt and Road Forum, outside the National Convention Centre in Beijing, China May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
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China welcomes all countries to a forum this weekend on China's new Silk Road plan, the foreign ministry said Saturday, after the United States warned China that North Korea's attendance could affect other countries' participation.The disagreement over North Korea threatens to overshadow China's most important diplomatic event of the year for an initiative championed by President Xi Jinping.China has not announced who North Korea's chief delegate will be, but South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Kim Yong Jae, North Korea's minister of external economic relations, would lead the delegation.Some of China's most reliable allies and partners will attend the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
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