In snub to India, China says will push Silk Road projects following UNSC endorsement
Notwithstanding India’s sovereignty concerns in the PoK, China has said that it will expand its reach following the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) endorsement of the Silk Route -- an ancient network of trade routes connecting the Eastern and Western part of the Asian continent.
India has protested to China over the CPEC - which connects western China's restive Xinjiang region with Pakistan's southern port of Gwadar through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir - and has reservations over the Maritime Silk Road as it impacts the Indian Ocean which is vital to India's security interests.
Recently, the UNSC had called for strengthening economic cooperation and connectivity between Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries through various projects including the Silk Road initiative. This led China to say that it will give a global push to its ambitious initiative which had once played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of the country.
The official assertion came as the state media here asked India to adopt a ‘more pragmatic’ approach towards the initiative, claiming global support for President Xi Jinping's pet project whose stated aim is to link China with Euro-Asia through a maze of connecting rail, road and port projects.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here yesterday that in the Resolution 2344 unanimously adopted by the 15-member UNSC on March 17, the concept of building a community of shared future for mankind was incorporated for the first time, reflecting global consensus over the project.
"The resolution urged all parties to further advance the Belt and Road Initiative and raised specific requirements on strengthening security safeguards," Hua said.
"China would like to work with UN members to actively move forward the building of the Belt and Road Initiative following the Security Council resolution and jointly build a community of shared future for mankind that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, cleanness and beauty," she added.
The UNSC resolution called for strengthening economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours through Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and Chabahar port project between Afghanistan, India and Iran, and China's Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road initiatives.
The multi-billion 'One Belt, One Road' initiative is the official name of the Silk Road or the Belt and Road project. It includes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to connect China with ports across the world as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - which passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) - and the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic (BCIM) corridor.
While the work on CPEC is rapidly progressing, there isn't any official update yet on the rest of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects.
New Delhi, on the other hand, has backed the Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM) and is actively supporting it, according to Indian officials.
"Despite concerns from India, broader support has been given to the OBOR from the international community," said an article in the ruling Communist Party-run Global Times.
With PTI Inputs