CPEC Project: As India stays away from BRF, China pledges billions for new Silk Road fund

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 5/14/2017 6:06:48 PM

Srinagar: Signalling its strong opposition to the multi-million dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), India skipped China’s mega Belt and Road Forum which began on Sunday.

The CPEC, which connects China’s Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan, is a key artery of the One Belt One Road project (OBOR).

Highlighting the importance of the CPEC, Chinese President Xi Jinping said “we should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy and should not be held hostage to old rivalries and power games.”

Addressing the inaugural session of the two days ‘Belt and Road Forum’ (BRF) attended by over 29 heads of state, including Pakistan prime minister Nawaz, Sharif President Xi seemed to have snubbed India by pledging more money and is he is quoted to have said the belt and road initiative respected “territorial integrity”.

The reason New Delhi has stayed away from Beijing’s most important diplomatic event of the year is because the CPEC project passes through Pakistan-administered-Kashmir
As reported by Hindustan Times, China pledged $14.5 billion to the Silk Road Fund and President Xi described his signature foreign policy push as inclusive.

The reason New Delhi has stayed away from Beijing’s most important diplomatic event of the year is because the CPEC project passes through Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, which New Delhi says challenges its sovereignty by lending legitimacy to Pakistan’s claim over the territory.

“…No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Saturday night.

Xi, however, described CPEC as a “multi-dimensional infrastructure network”.

“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,” Xi told the gathering at the sprawling China Convention Centre.

“What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence,” HT quotes him to have said. “In advancing the Belt and Road, we will not retread the old path of games between foes. Instead we will create a new model of cooperation and mutual benefit.”

China plans to revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa involves a network of rail, road and sea links.

The initiative is said to have won the support of more than 100 countries and international organisations, of which at least 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China. Nepal is the latest country to jump on to the bandwagon. It signed a deal with China on Friday.

The Gawadar port found a mention as Xi shared details of the projects undertaken to connect member countries.

“Some regions along the ancient Silk Road used to be a land of milk and honey. Yet today, these places are often associated with conflict, turbulence, crisis and challenge. Such state of affairs should not be allowed to continue,” he said.

However in its statement, New Delhi has said ” We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.”


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