In a major boost to Indian diplomacy, the European Union on Tuesday refrained from issuing a statement on China’s controversial One Belt One Road project, a report by The Guardian said. The move came as a major setback for Chinese President Xi Jinping as EU echoed what India had earlier said while expressing its concerns about the project. A high-level EU diplomat in the report on the condition of anonymity said, that for Europe, the Belt and Road initiative can only be a success if it’s based on transparency and co-ownership. He added that EU was united on this stand. Keeping itself disassociated with any developments related to the project, India skipped the summit that took place on May 14 and 15 in Beijing over sovereignty and security issues over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). While India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF), it was attended by 29 world leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Here are 3 reasons that prove India stands vindicated in the matter:
1) OBOR prominently lays out a trade corridor which passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) – region illegally occupied by Pakistan. India in an official statement had highlighted sovereignty and security issues over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
2) The official, who was quoted in the report by The Guardian, also asserted that all EU nations were united on this stand. This means that none of the EU members which include – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK- are ready to endorse the project. However, heads of 29 state and governments, including delegations from South Asian countries, leaders and officials from Russia, US, Japan, UK, Germany and France attended BRF on May 14, but EU as one entity has not commented on the issue yet
3) Going one step ahead, the EU official also said that project doesn’t give commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency – another charge put on China that may haunt it at the time of implementing the project