China has rejected India’s objections about China Pakistan Economic Corridor for staying absent from the upcoming second Belt and Road Forum, schedule for which was finalised in the last week of the month in Beijing.
According to media reports, China has played down India’s reported plans to boycott the upcoming forum, saying India may have misunderstood the Belt and Road Initiative and suggested to New Delhi wait and see before taking a decision.
India didn’t attend the first BRF where Pakistan was represented by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The BRI is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that the BRI is an economic cooperation project and it does not involve territorial disputes.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has been termed as a flagship project of the BRI, has been invoking ire of India as the project is being laid through Gilgit-Baltistan. India has already protested to China over the CPEC violating its sovereignty and boycotted the first BRF held in 2017.
Asked for comments on India’s reported plans to boycott the 2nd BRF, Kang said, “Whether the Indian side will participate in the BRI forum; I think you need to ask India for a more specific answer.” In BRI, China and other countries uphold the principle of equality, openness inclusiveness and transparency, he added.
I think may be some sides have misunderstandings on the BRI and thus have some wrong judgment. Please know that China follows principle of cooperation and consultation for shared benefit and that principle will not change, he said. Since the inception of CPEC, India has been spreading false propaganda because it does not want to see prosperous and developed Pakistan. Indian’s allegations that CPEC is violating its territorial sovereignty are completely groundless because GB has never been part of India. According to UN resolutions on Kashmir it is a disputed territory and needs settlement through free and fair plebiscite. CPEC is a bilateral project and it is considered basic plank of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It will likely to benefit people of the whole region. India’s attitude is unfortunate because BRI is promoting regional connectivity and providing infrastructure and economic development to member countries. India should not politicize this initiative for its vested interests and it should join hands for the progress and prosperity of the region.