China's controversial Belt and Road Initiative is not "a trap", Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Asian and Pacific leaders.
The global infrastructure program has attracted criticism for leaving small countries with large debts, and for expanding China's security interests.
But in a speech to an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, President Xi said the BRI was an open platform for cooperation.
"It is not designed to serve any hidden geopolitical agenda," President Xi said on Saturday.
"It is not targeted against anyone, and it does not exclude anyone.
"Nor is it a trap, as some people have labelled it."
Australia has not signed up to the BRI, but will work with China on projects that stack up and serve the national interest.
Victoria signed a memorandum of understanding backing the BRI, but it has not committed to any projects.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will work with China, but infrastructure investments must be transparent and deliver long term benefits.
"(Infrastructure) that meets genuine needs, and avoids unsustained debt burdens," Mr Morrison said.
"It must be in the interests of the country in which you are seeking to invest."
United States Vice President Mike Pence said loans to developing countries are too often opaque, and encouraged nations to look to the US instead of China.
"Too often they come with strings attached and lead to staggering debt," he said in a speech.
"Do not accept foreign debt that could compromise your sovereignty.
"Just like America, always put your country first."
Australian Associated Press