India can join OBOR any time, claims Singaporean think tank

"China will never impose anything on others," ISAS quoted an unnamed Chinese official as saying in a paper published in Singapore.
Narendra Modi, Xi JInping - India TV
India TV News Desk New Delhi 02 Jun 2017, 10:36 PM IST

A Singaporean think tank has claimed that India can join any project in the mega One Belt One Road initiative at any time.

The think tank, Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS, ) made this claim by quoting a Chinese official.

"China will never impose anything on others," ISAS quoted an unnamed Chinese official as saying  in a paper published in Singapore.

"India can come in at any time on any project" under the One Belt One Road (OBOR), an ambitious initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, ISAS quoted the official as saying at the recently concluded Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) summit meeting in Beijing.

Beijing would, therefore, welcome the "very, very good point" of a quadrilateral dialogue among China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan on issues relating to the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said.

However, it would be good if such a proposal came from India and the other countries concerned rather than as a Chinese initiative, the official was quoted as saying by the papers current affairs editor P S Suryanarayana, who participated in the BRF meetings in Beijing as a delegate.

One of the BRF themes was "Regional and Global Security: Situation and Prospect".

Interpreting Jinpings "studied avoidance of Indias counter narrative" on Chinas connectivity projects, during the BRF meetings, the author says.

"China cannot hope to be a benign global power if its major neighbour (India) remains estranged," said Suryanarayana, who is also the author of Smart Diplomacy: Exploring China-India Synergy published last year.

Tracing Indias well-known objections to the CPEC project, Suryanarayana said "the Chinese tend to think that Indias objections to the CPEC also stem from the possibility of the CPEC propelling Pakistan, too, as an attractive destination for foreign investments from far and wide".

Yet, "there is also a view that India perhaps has time until the next BRF Summit in 2019 to say a belated yes or a final no to Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI also called OBOR)," the author said.

India did not attend the BRF held in Beijing in mid-May, which observers believe, was a strong objection to OBOR for its partial route through Kashmir.

(With PTI inputs)

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