- China is going to hold its 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) to showcase its Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) but without India’s presence for the second consecutive time.Recently,India had decided to turn down an official invite from China to attend the second Belt and Road Forum meet.
- China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors.It aim at improving (a)regional integration, (b) increasing trade and (c)stimulating economic growth.
- India had also boycotted the first Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in 2017.It has cited issues of sovereignty,transparency and unilateral decision making.
- India’s opposition to the BRI is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is a flagship programme of the BRI.The CPEC passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir(Gilgit-Baltistan).As both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir,the area is considered a disputed territory by India.According to India,BRI undermines India’s strategic interests and territorial integrity.
- Further, India along with the US and several other countries have been highlighting the concerns over the BRI projects which will leave a number of smaller countries in debt traps.The concerns grew louder after China took over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on a 99-year lease as debt swap.
- India has also alleged that China has taken unilateral decisions.There has been lack of consultations with India before the launch of BRI.India has also highlighted the importance of openness and transparency on infrastructure projects.
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