In a major setback to China, Europian Union has decided not to issue an official statement on its ‘modern Silk Road’ project, said a report. A high-level EU diplomat, who spoke to The Guardian on 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 the same stand, which ultimately left Chinese people surprised. EU notion of the OBOR holds much significance as it deals a direct blow to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s ambition to lead a global infrastructure revolution. The report further says that EU members refused to endorse part of the multibillion-dollar plan as it did not include commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency.
India on its part has already boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held from May 14-15. The meeting was attended by 29 world leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. New Delhi chose to skip the meeting due to its sovereignty concerns – China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). However, Beijing, taking exception to India’s stand on its Belt and Road initiative, said it was welcome to participate in the mega project but New Delhi should explain what kind of “meaningful dialogue” it wants Beijing to hold with it.
“Over the past four years since the project was initiated we have been holding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” for the Belt and Road initiative, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, reacting to Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Gopal Bagley’s remarks that China should hold a meaningful dialogue on concerns over the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project. “I do not know what the spokesperson (of MEA was) trying to say. What kind of dialogue is a meaningful dialogue. What kind of a positive attitude the spokesman wants China to hold?” Hua was quoted as saying by PTI.