India’s participation was very important for China’s silk road initiative because its attitude will affect the decision of some of the countries to join the multi-billion dollar project, a state-run newspaper said on Monday.
“India’s participation is very important to the Belt and Road initiative. It’s not only because of India’s population, labour resource and market size, but also India’s political influence on countries in South Asia and the Indian Ocean,” an article in the Global Times said.
Written by Liu Zongyi, senior fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, the article said India’s attitude toward the Belt and Road initiative will affect these countries’ decisions on whether to participate in the initiative.
China requires India’s cooperation on anti-terrorism, regional stability and security in building the Belt and Road venture, it said.
“India’s attitude toward the initiative is clear: supporting some part of the Belt and Road, opposing and hedging the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Maritime Silk Route, and delaying and replacing the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor,” the article said.
Three years have passed since the Belt and Road project was formally proposed by China and has improved the infrastructure construction and economic development in South Asia, while also stimulating the South Asian regional connectivity, it said.
“Indian government’s stance on the initiative has changed slightly. India will hold the third BCIM working group meeting soon, which has been postponed for more than three years, and some Indian experts said they would like to see some concrete progress and put forward some concrete projects,” it said.
China is set to hold the One Belt One Road summit next month in which leaders of 28 countries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, will take part. The meeting will be held from May 14-15.
India is yet to announce its participation in the meeting.