"This is the second Belt and Road forum. Compared to the first one, the scale [of the forum this year] is much larger, the level is higher, and there are several times more events. And most importantly — a lot of heads of state and government will come here… [As for] Americans, no, there will be no official delegation," Zhang told reporters on Thursday.
However, US businessmen and experts might take part in the forum, according to the vice foreign minister.
"Chairman Xi Jinping will set aside a very large amount of time to meet with President Putin," Zhang underlined.
The forum, scheduled for April 25-27, is set to sum up the current results of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and to identify further steps within the framework of the initiative for the coming years. China hosted the first Belt and Road Forum in May 2017, when participants from over 100 countries attended in the event.
The BRI, which was first announced by Chinese President Xi in 2013, mainly focuses on the Maritime Silk Route, which connects China and Europe, and the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt, which includes Central Asia, Russia and the Middle East.