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India skips OBOR, expresses displeasure

By Our Reporter
India has been the only big economy that did not attend the “Belt and Road Forum” in Beijing.
Instead, India criticised China’s global initiative, warning of an “unsustainable debt burden” for countries involved.
When Chinese President Xi Jinping was hosting dozens of world leaders and senior officials on Sunday for the country’s biggest diplomatic showcase of the year, touting his vision of a new “Silk Road” that opens trade routes across the globe, India was issuing a statement against the summit.
Although India tried its best to prevent other South Asian nations from joining the OBOR initiatives, except for Bhutan, no nation agreed with it with Nepal becoming the last SA nation to join the OBOR project of China. To recall, China has no diplomatic relations with Bhutan.
Although no government official from New Delhi travelled to Beijing, scholars from Indian think-tanks reached Beijing to attend some of the meetings at the forum.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman GopalBaglay was quoted saying that India could not accept a project that compromised its sovereignty.
India is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan. The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region, reports from New Delhi said.
“No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Baglay said.
However, many independent scholars claimed that India cannot be omitted from the OBOR initiative and there was no point for criticizing the billion dollar Chinese projects.
If India continues to oppose the Chinese project, there is a danger that India may be isolated from other countries in the region.
Only Japan and India have been against the revival of Silk Road through the Chinese project.
New Delhi’s criticism of the Belt and Road initiative came as Xi pledged $124 billion to the plan, and called for the abandonment of old models based on rivalry and diplomatic power games.

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