China ambitious project of Belt and Road initiative was opposed by India when PM Modi said that any mega connectivity project must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries. Though the other countries including Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan have been reaffirming their support for China’s Belt and road initiative in a two-day summit and declaration to this effect was signed by them..
PM Modi said connectivity with neighbouring countries is india’s priority and India welcome the connectivity projects which are sustainable, which respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. This connectivity project BRI passes through POK, it is USD $50 billion china Economic Corridor(CPEC). India says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Modi, in presence of Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, said India’s commitment to connectivity projects was reflected in its involvement in the International North-South Corridor project, development of the Chabahar port and Ashgabat agreement. China had unveiled the BRI in 2013 with an aim to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
China already said that it would invest around USD 126 billion for this project. There has been apprehension by several countries that main aim of the project is to expand China’s influence globally. Around 80 countries have already inked pacts with Beijing for this ambitious project as told by Chinese officials.
The International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode transport project for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
“The Member States express appreciation for the joint efforts taken towards its implementation, including efforts to coordinate the development of the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRI and call for using the potential of the regional countries, international organisations and multilateral associations to create a broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal partnership in the SCO space,” said the declaration on the BRI.
Why BRI Important-:The Chinese said that it is jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Essentially, the ‘belt’ includes countries situated on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. This initiative calls for the integration of the region into a cohesive economic area through building infrastructure, increasing cultural exchanges, and broadening trade. Apart from this zone, which is largely analogous to the historical Silk Road, another area that is said to be included in the extension of this ‘belt’ is South Asia and Southeast Asia. Many of the countries that are part of this belt are also members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). North, central and south belts are proposed. The North belt would go through Central Asia, Russia to Europe. The Central belt goes through Central Asia, West Asia to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. The South belt starts from China to Southeast Asia, South Asia, to the Indian Ocean through Pakistan. The Chinese One Belt strategy will integrate with Central Asia through Kazakhstan‘s Nurly Zhol infrastructure program