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Explain 'meaningful dialogue', door always open for India for OBOR: China

20 May 2017, 03:21 | Darnell Patrick

China to hold second 'Silk Road' summit in two years time

Leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum wave as they pose for a group

"Hopefully (One Belt, One Road) is not a one-way street but two-way", said European Union Chamber of Commerce in China President Joerg Wuttke recently, stated AFP.

The CPEC has emerged as a thorny issue between India and China, whose ties have been under strain over issues including Beijing blocking New Delhi's bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India last month.

The following are some quotes from high-profile world officials on the significance of the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with an aim to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. On the contrary, the positive response to the initiative is driven by rationality and reality does provide more reasons for supporting the initiative. "I do not know what the Indian spokesperson was trying to say", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Matt Pottinger, US National Security Council senior director for East Asia and special assistant to Trump who is representing the US at the forum, urged transparency and "fair process" in his comments.

The Chinese statement also rejected India's concerns on the CPEC, which has been formalised by China as "flagship" even as it passes through PoK.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations also attended the summit.

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"At Rio Tinto, our business sees the potential from a greater focus on infrastructure through the Belt and Road", he said. China's Finance Ministry, the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Asian Development Bank signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative.

"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, she said. While the prime ministers of Spain, Greece and Italy accepted the summit invitation, German, British and French leaders stayed home.

Tom Rafferty, a China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, agrees. "That's why they tried really hard to get us on board".

That is despite complaints by its trading partners that China is the most-closed major economy.

For now, China is playing it cool when it comes to India's role in the Belt and Road initiative. "Disputes between them will be laid aside, and this is an effective measure to shift relations with neighbors from tensions into cooperation", Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Sunday.



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