PTI (NEW DELHI, 28 OCTOBER 2017) – A day after China said that it welcomes other countries including India to join its ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, which includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the government on Friday said connectivity has to be open and equitable.
“Though India supports connectivity, it has to be open and equitable,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had on Thursday in Beijing told reporters that, “We welcome other countries including India to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative on the basis of voluntarism.”
India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing in May this year where 29 world leaders participated. India abstained from the ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit to highlight its concerns over the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The government on Friday also said it hoped that the direction and the policy set by the Communist Party Congress in China will further promote Sino-India relations and contribute to peace and stability in the region.
The remarks by Mr Kumar came in response to a query on Chinese President Xi Jinping starting his second five-year term and ordering the country’s Army to intensify its combat readiness by focusing on how to win wars during the Congress of the Communist party.
“Our Prime Minister had sent his best wishes to President Xi for the success of the Congress before it met and subsequently congratulated him on his re-election as the General Secretary of the Communist Party,” he said.
“We hope that the direction and the policy set by the Congress will further promote our bilateral relations and contribute to peace and stability in the region,” Mr Kumar said.