India will have very small role to play even if it joins OBOR: Chinese state media

The commentary published on the concluding day of the two-day One Belt and Road (OBOR) summit here, described India as an "onlooker".

Last Updated: May 15, 2017, 19:57 PM IST
India will have very small role to play even if it joins OBOR: Chinese state media

Beijing: India will have a very small role to play if it decides to join the OBOR initiative in the future, China's state-run Global Times reported on Monday.

The commentary published on the concluding day of the two-day One Belt and Road (OBOR) summit here, described India as an "onlooker" and said New Delhi appeared more anxious than the actual players.

India would never succeed in stopping other neighbours from joining OBOR, or from seeking Chinese infrastructural assistance, the article said.

China had invited India to participate in six separate forums as part of a two-day OBOR summit being held in Beijing.

But India had decided to boycott it, saying “Connectivity projects must be pursued in a manner that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity".

"We are of the firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

Baglay said, "We have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue. We are awaiting a positive response from the Chinese side."

The two-day Belt and Road Forum is being attended by leaders from 29 countries, including Pakistan. India has boycotted the event due to sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion CPEC.

On the concluding day of the summit on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that a total of 68 countries and international organizations signed the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) cooperation agreements with China.

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry dismissed India's concerns over the OBOR initiative, saying the CPEC project, which is a part of OBOR, will not affect Beijing's stand on Kashmir.

It said that over 100 countries and organisations were already involved in the venture.

"Regarding the issue of Kashmir which the Indian side is concerned about, we have been stressing that the issue was left over from history between India and Pakistan, and should be properly addressed by the two sides through consultation and negotiation," the Chinese Ministry said, reiterating its stand.

"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an initiative on economic cooperation. It is not directed at any third party, not relevant to disputes over territorial sovereignty and does not affect China's position on the Kashmir issue," PTI quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying.

(With agency inputs)