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  1. China’s OBOR obsession: Will India join Belt and Road initiative? Issue may be on agenda during Modi-Xi meet

China’s OBOR obsession: Will India join Belt and Road initiative? Issue may be on agenda during Modi-Xi meet

Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping summit: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ice-breaking visit to China for an informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing is keen on taking India on board its ambitious Belt and Road initiative

By: | Updated: April 26, 2018 4:39 PM
narendra modi xi jinping summit Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping to meet on Firday, Saturday. (PTI file)

Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping summit: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ice-breaking visit to China for an informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing is keen on taking India on board its ambitious Belt and Road initiative (also referred to as One Belt, One Road – OBOR). China has, however, failed to get India’s support for the initiative. In the recently concluded bilateral foreign ministers’ meeting ahead of Modi-Xi Summit, Beijing failed to win India’s support for the landmark Chinese project.

India’s main objection to OBOR is that one of the key Belt and Road projects, the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) region, which is claimed by New Delhi.

During the Modi-Xi summit also, China’s efforts to woo India to take the latter onboard OBOR is likely to be the key feature. News agency Reuters said on Tuesday, “Whether or not China will be able to win India round to the Belt and Road will likely be a key measure of the success of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China to meet Xi for an informal meeting on Friday and Saturday.”

In scores of articles since the launch of Belt and Road project, Chinese official media Global Times has reasoned why India should join the China-led initiative. The Chinese media has, however, never addressed the issue of India’s concerns over CPEC, nor has the Chinese administration.

In an Article published on April 18, Global Times claimed that China pursues “Common development” to develop ties with South Asian countries including India. “As a major power in South Asia, India should join hands with China for common development, which will be of particular significance for South Asia’s prosperity.”

Modi-Xi meeting is being seen as an effort to bury the ghosts of Doklam standoff of last year and take bilateral ties forward.

An article in the Global Times in December this year argued that the OBOR project could be an opportunity for India to boost its economy.

“The B&R initiative is a historic opportunity that will not only boost the development of Beijing and New Delhi, but also help eliminate factors that may destabilize the world,” Global Times article argued.

“The economy is the basis for development, and its growth is indispensible to expand its influence in South Asia in the era of globalization. Participating in the Belt and Road initiative and taking economic advantage of it,” it added.

All eyes will be on Xi and Modi during the informal meet starting tomorrow. Will they join hands for OBOR also?

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