Beijing: China’s state-run media has said that India’s decision to boycott over sovereignty issue the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) summit in Beijing in which Pakistan is a participant, will not affect the regional cooperation to build infrastructure for connectivity,
“While India recently issued an official statement saying it would not be part of the One Belt and One Road (B&R) initiative, it will not affect the trend toward cooperation in infrastructure development among its neighboring countries at all,” said Global Times in an editorialized article.
“China has formally invited India to join the B&R. If India doesn’t want to take a part on the stage, then it should just be a good member of the audience. The role is still available if India changes its mind, but it may only be a small role if it is left too late,” it said criticising India.
“India also cited the potential debt burden as one of its other concerns, saying that, ‘Connectivity initiatives must follow the principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create an unsustainable debt burden for communities.’
“It is strange that the onlooker is more anxious than the players. While India cares about its neighbors’ debt burden, the neighbors appear willing to take on more,” read the article bylined by a Global Times reporter.
Earlier, amid an Indian boycott of “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) summit that began at Beijing on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that all countries should respect each other’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In his opening remarks, Jinping said: “All countries should respect each other’s sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other’s development paths and social systems, and each other’s core interests and major concerns.”
Christened as China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the 57 billion-dollar project envisages connectivity across Asia on to Europe through ports, railways and roads.
Besides Pakistan, India’s other neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal are attending the summit.
India boycotted the summit over sovereignty issues as the initiative for cross border connectivity runs through Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The decision has been taken on the ground of sovereignty as India considers POK its part.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay in a media statement on Saturday said: “Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the… OBOR, the international community is well aware of India’s position… No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative,” he stated.
Baglay also mentioned that India is awaiting positive response from China.
The Chinese initiative is also being seen as a move to establish its dominance in Asia, including India’s neigbhours.
By arrangement with India Blooms News Service