Hindustan Times | 6 April 2018
No change in India’s position on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: MEA
External affairs ministry on Thursday said there is no change in its position on China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the signature connectivity project of President Xi Jinping.
The ministry clarified its position in response to some media reports that suggested India’s “possible cooperation” with China on the project.
“We have seen some media reports alluding our possible cooperation with China on OBOR/Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Our position on OBOR is clear and there is no change,” MEA spokesperson said.
HT had reported on March 25 that despite the ‘recalibration’ of ties with China, India would not sign the OBOR.
The initiative includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that goes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Though India supports connectivity, it has to be open and equitable, MEA has consistently maintained.
New Delhi boycotted a high- profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China in May last year. “No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity”, the spokesperson said.
He reiterated the stated position of India on the project which is “connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
The project involves massive infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking China with Europe. China is expected to spend some $150bn a year in the 68 countries that have agreed to be part of the initiative.