Multi-lateral funding agency ADB today said China’s high-profile belt and road initiative called One Belt One Road is a “good idea” as it will connect regional economies, an initiative that has been opposed by India. “It (OBOR) is a natural idea and a good idea. ADB has been supporting this idea for years,” ADB president Takehiko Nakao said here. India has been objecting to China-sponsored economic corridor as it would traverse through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India had boycotted Belt and Road Forum meeting to protest against One Belt One Road (OBOR). ADB, whose major shareholders include India, said that such initiative are aimed at boosting more markets and has been successful. “ADB is very happy to work with this initiative,” he said, adding the bank considers economic reasons for supporting projects. Citing examples of such initiative where ADB played a key role, he said, “We started Central Asian Economic Cooperation Region in 2000. So we have been supporting ideas of connectivity in the region.
On the basis of those ideas it (OBOR) is a good initiative.” Asked if ADB has sanctioned any project in Northeastern state of Sikkim, he said states in the area fall under special category status. “Sikkim is categorised as a special category state because of its hilly terrain and other disadvantages. We focus more on the lagging states. That doesn’t mean other states are omitted say for example Sikkim, we have a specific proposal received recently to assess the state’s road system,” he said. The statement assumes significance in the light of stand off between India and China over an area which falls in Bhutan, claimed by China. China’s military today rejected Bhutan’s allegation that PLA soldiers violated its territory, saying its troops operated on “Chinese territory” and also asked India to “correct” its “wrong doing”.
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Talking about relations with China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Nakao said both institutions are working together. “We have already approved three projects for co-finance. One in Pakistan for road, another one in road sector in Georgia and one in Bangladesh for a natural gas project. We have been working together and we can continue to work together,” he said. AIIB approved USD 1.7 billion as compared to USD 17.5 billion last year.