NEW DELHI: In the wake of constant opposition by India on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China has now apparently moving towards strategic balance and taking to diplomatic persuasion to get India to sign on to its ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project as the crucial summit gets ready to take off in Beijing on Sunday.
Chinese ambassador and his deputy have invited India into joining OBOR. Aambassador Luo Zhaohui said India and China should synergise the `Act East’ policy with OBOR.”OBOR and regional connectivity could provide China and India with fresh opportunities… for bilateral cooperation,” he said.
India, he noted, has reservations over OBOR as it says that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through Azad and Jammu Kashmir, raising sovereignty concerns.
China has no intention to get involved in the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan. China supports the solution of the disputes through bilateral negotiations between the two countries. CPEC is for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity . It has no connection to or impact on sovereignty issues.”
India’s absence is seen as a concern for China, because it’s participation would be key to the expansion of the initiative. However, India has refused, given China’s insistence on CPEC.
In addition, India considers OBOR to be a unilateral enterprise for China to export its excess capacity.
India has watched with concern how Beijing has changed the ground reality in areas in the South China Sea, building the political narrative to suit the reality. In Arunachal Pradesh too, China has moved from withdrawal in 1963 to claiming the entire state in 2005.
Therefore, India is unlikely to buy the Chinese line that CPECOBOR is merely a connectivity story .India regards CPEC as a Chinese geo-strategic project going through Indian territory with the intent of making Gwadar port a military installation.
Jaitley a day ago told the media in Japan, where he is attending deliberations of the Asian Development Bank, that the OBOR and its Pakistani component of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridors) raises sovereignty issues for India.
“I have no hesitation in saying we have some serious reservations about it, because of sovereignty issues,” the minister was quoted as saying in a media report.