As India skips OBOR summit in China, President Xi Jinping sends a message to Delhi

OBOR summit

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On Sunday, India the fastest growing developing economy with a 300 million and with a most talented young population was a notable absentee at ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) summit in China. On Saturday, India gave a clear indication of not participating in the summit and released an official statement saying that “India cannot accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

OBOR summit

But President Xi Jinping while addressing the summit, said: “All countries should respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. Experts believe that by this statement President Xi Jinping has sent a strong message to Delhi and had kept the doors open for India, which has decided to boycott the summit as a key part of the planned project runs through Gilgit-Baltistan or Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Leaders from 30 countries including United States, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are attending the forum, which ends on Monday.

Although China had expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have sent some representatives at the summit but India took a tough stand and didn’t even deployed its China-based diplomats at the forum.

Here are the latest development on OBOR summit:

  • At the inaugural address at OBOR summit, President Xi Jinping, without referring India’s objections, today said, “All countries should respect each other’s sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other’s development paths and social systems, and each other’s core interests and major concerns”.
  • On the other side Delhi believed that the scheme was, “little more than a colonial enterprise, that would leave debt and broken communities in its wake”. Xi Jinping told a different story on Sunday and called his “project of the century” as a bold and inclusive attempt to kickstart a new era of globalisation.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday pledged to pump US 900 billion dollars into the new Silk Road initiative as he described his signature foreign policy push as inclusive, one that should not be held hostage to old rivalries and power games.
  • China on Sunday hosted at least 29 heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, for a two-day OBOR summit. All of India’s neighbour, except Bhutan had sent high-level delegations to the event, with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attending the summit.
  • Denying all attempts made by the international community, President Xi Jinping said China plans to build it as a road to peace and link his country to most of Asia, Europe and Africa. Under this project, China is all set to rebuild ports, roads and rail networks while expanding trade links between Asia, Africa and Europe.
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing the summit signalled that Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India, and offered to accommodate “all countries” in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin who addressed the summit on Sunday afternoon after Xi Jinping said that they were fully confident of its future. “Russia expects to establish a comprehensive partnership with all the parties. We are also looking forward to promoting the cooperation with the European Union and the countries of Europe,” Putin said while addressing the leaders of 29 other countries.
  • India’s decision to skip the summit comes at the end moment, as New Delhi is upset over China’s refusal to allow its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a global cartel that controls nuclear trade.
  • Sudheendra Kulkarni, advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who attended the summit on Sunday said, “India has isolated itself by boycotting #BeltandRoadForum. We should’ve aired our concerns by attending it”.
  • The proposed silk route project will cover South Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Africa.

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