India refuses to endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative

QINGDAO
11 Jun 2018

India is the only country in the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation grouping which has opposed China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that any mega connectivity project must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries.
A declaration signed by leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries, including Modi, at the end of a two-day summit of the bloc said Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been "reaffirming" their support for China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In his address at the summit, Modi, in a clear reference to the BRI, said any mega connectivity project must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries and assured that India will support projects which ensure inclusivity.
"Connectivity with the neighbouring countries is India's priority. We welcome the connectivity projects which are sustainable and efficient and which respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries," he said.
India has been severely critical of the BRI, the pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
India says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. PTI