China’s Belt and Road plan
Russia has supported the Chinas Belt Road plan to build trade and transport links across Asia and beyond, suggesting to India on Monday that it find a way to work with Beijing on the signature project.
India is strongly opposed to an economic corridor that China is building in Pakistan that runs through disputed Kashmir as part of the Belt and Road initiative.
India was the only country that stayed away from a May summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote the plan to build railways, ports and power grids in a modern-day recreation of the Silk Road.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said New Delhi should not let political problems deter it from joining the project, involving billions of dollars of investment, and benefiting from it.
Lavrov was speaking in the Indian capital after a three-way meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at which, he said, India’s reservations over the Chinese project were discussed.
“I know India has problems, we discussed it today, with the concept of One Belt and One Road, but the specific problem in this regard should not make everything else conditional to resolving political issues,” he said.
Russia, all the countries in central Asia, and European nations had signed up to the Chinese project to boost economic cooperation, he said.
“Those are the facts,” he said. “India, I am 100 percent convinced, has enough very smart diplomats and politicians to find a way which would allow you to benefit from this process.”
The comments by Russia, India’s former Cold War ally, reflected the differences within the trilateral grouping formed 15 years ago to challenge U.S.-led dominance of global affairs.
But substantial differences between India and China, mainly over long-standing border disputes, have snuffed out prospects of any real cooperation among the three.
India, in addition, has drawn closer to the United States in recent years, buying weapons worth billions of dollars to replace its largely Soviet-origin military.
What is Belt and One road initiative of China ?
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, better known as the One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR), The Belt and Road (B&R) and The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 for SREB and MSR respectively. It was also promoted by Premier Li Keqiang during the state visit to Asia and Europe and the most frequently mentioned concept in the People’s Daily in 2016. It was initially called One Belt and One Road, but in mid-2016 the official English name was changed to the Belt and Road Initiative due to misinterpretations of the term one. In the past three years, the focuses were mainly on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, and iron and steel.
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