1. Even as India snubs OBOR forum, 6 neighbours, from Nepal to Sri Lanka, sign 20 infrastructure deals with China

Even as India snubs OBOR forum, 6 neighbours, from Nepal to Sri Lanka, sign 20 infrastructure deals with China

India may well have snubbed the OBOR forum due to sovereignty and security concerns, 6 of its close neighbours have signed 20 infrastructure deals with China in the backdrop of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) being held in Beijing.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2017 11:42 AM
OBOR, China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, BRF, Xi Jinping, Nawaz Sharif, Nepal, India-China, CPEC, China-Pak China and Pakistan have signed 10 additional agreements connected to the contentious corridor which runs through PoK. (Source: PTI)

India may well have snubbed the OBOR forum due to sovereignty and security concerns, 6 of its close neighbours have signed 20 infrastructure deals with China in the backdrop of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) being held in Beijing. The six nations namely Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Afghanistan have also asked China for financial help in advancing infrastructure, power, banking and finance sectors, according to an Indian Express report.

India has skipped the two-day Belt and Road Forum citing concerns over sovereignty over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China, on the other hand, has called CPEC a flagship of the ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) project. China and Pakistan have signed 10 additional agreements connected to the contentious corridor which runs through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who led a delegation of four chief ministers and several federal ministers, also addressed the opening ceremony of the BRF.

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India has raised CPEC issue with China at multiple forums. The issue was also raised at the BRICS summit in Goa last year, according to an Indian Express report. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar said, ”China is very sensitive about issues linked to sovereignty and we expect them to understand the sensitivity of other nations sovereignty concerns.”

Professor Wang Yiwei from Renmin University said China’s neighbours will benefit from OBOR. Yiwei added, “The CPEC project is expected to solve Pakistan’s infrastructure issues through special economic zones and the Gwadar Port.”

The professor predicted that Pakistan’s economy will take off after the second stage of development that begins in 2020 and by 2030 the country will be an emerging power.

Wang Dehua, Director of Institute for South and Central Asia Studies said, “It is natural that India’s neighbours want to be a part of OBOR. They want access to China’s technological knowledge and money.” He added India’s neighbours may even work to convince India, to join the OBOR initiative.

Yiwei thinks India is becoming more flexible about the initiative adding “I believe India has shown positive signs over a China-Nepal-India economic corridor.

  1. Y
    Yogendra
    May 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm
    It is surprising that even though PoK is a disputed territory China is planning to develop CPEC through it. Can India not approach UN or International Court to get a stay order on the development of any infrastructure in the PoK till the dispute gets resolved?
    Reply
    1. R
      Ramesh
      May 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm
      The small nations creating security problem with India dia did not tackles these small nations seriously.These small nations should have only power of ru on their people but autonomous only their foreign,defense etc should be taken care off by India(Nepal,Lankan,Bangladesh,Maldive etc)
      Reply
      1. V
        Vince
        May 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm
        1) Why does Sri Lanka need India card to keep at bay Chinese loan recover agents. Recent sample is just days before China visit, our PM was invited and Chinese sub was not allowed to dock at port. 2) Nepal has already informed China that railway line that passes thru their territory will not be feasible to them if Indian market is not available. W neighborhood will suffer when India decides to stop or hike duties for goods manufactured by Chinese in their territory. Everybody loves cheap money but the cost to pay is high none of neighbourhood understands..
        Reply

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