India India rejects China's latest offer to become part of BRI

05:50  16 april  2018
05:50  16 april  2018 Source:   hindustantimes.com

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BEIJING -- India has rejected China's latest overture to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and has said that it won't take sides in the ongoing trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

The remarks were made by Niti Aayog vice-chairperson Rajiv Kumar, who was in Beijing for the 5th Strategic Economic Dialogue with He Lifeng, the chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission - China's top planning body.

India has remained cold to the BRI and was conspicuously absent at last year's high-profile forum. But Beijing has continued its attempt to convince India to join it, realising New Delhi's prominence in the region and potential of its massive market.

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The connectivity projects in BRI , on which Xi has placed such a huge amount of premium, are likely to take off in South Asia only if India becomes a part of it. Given these structural concerns, it remains to be seen what concessions China is ready to offer to take India on board.

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday rejected China ' s offer to play a constructive role on Kashmir and said "New Delhi's position on addressing all issues with Pakistan in a bilateral framework has not changed."

Kumar said that the Chinese side "extolled" the project's virtue and emphasised how "completely non-conflictual and respectful of sovereignty and independence" it was.

However, Kumar said the BRI compromises India's sovereignty as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"After hearing India's response they chose to ignore it," Kumar said. "Both sides recognise the differences over the issue. But there is sufficient scope within the defined redlines to take the development cooperation forward," he said.

On the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, Kumar said India would not take any sides though it supports the multi-lateral trade order.

"India suo motu has been the supporter of the rule-based multilateral trading order. In that sense, we don't have to take sides either one-way or the other," Kumar said. "India has always taken independent position on trade issues." He said: "While India does not like any measures that harm the rule based international trade regime, there is no reason to take sides in this," referring to the US and China announcing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's imported products.

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China , however, rejects this view, stressing that the project has nothing to do with territorial disputes. While Washington might decline to be part of the BRI because of Such an understanding could then facilitate India ’s participation in the BRI and China ’ s cooperation in the NSTC.

China rejected an international ruling on the South China Sea as “null and void” and devoid of any “binding force”. January 30, 2018. China shifts stance, offers to open talks with India on CPEC. Image source. CPEC is a part of China ’ s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative ( BRI ).

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(Provided by The Indian Express)

"We are not that level of player in the market. Our shares are much smaller. We are the takers of the rules than makers," he said.

Kumar recollected the US and Japanese trade war in late 1980 when Washington successfully pressured Japan to cut the trade deficit. "That is what the US is still expecting. If you notice, both sides have announced their position (to cut tariffs) but they have not given the dates. This is posturing," he said.

"I don't think anybody is interested in trade war trade crisis."

The status of the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) corridor was also discussed and both sides took note of the differences between the two countries on it. The BCIM is work in progress, Kumar said, adding at present Bangladesh and Myanmar are not keen on it because of the Rohingya refugee crisis.

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(Provided by India Today)


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