China still hopes India will join its BRI initiative

China has not given up hope of India joining its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “India has started showing interest in the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Professor Mrs Chen Wenling, Chief Economist of Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIE). Some years ago, India had hesitated to join the BRI, but that is no longer the case, she claimed.

Prof Chen was speaking to visiting journalists from 10 Asian countries at an interaction in CCIE, Beijing on Wednesday. Her remarks came soon after CCIE’s vice-chairman and deputy CEO Dr Wei Jianguo set the tone for the interaction with his opening remarks on economic cooperation, connectivity and China’s flagship the BRI.

Dr Wei pointed out that more than 100 agreements have been signed with about 80 countries since the project was first mooted. The BRI is inspired by the ancient Silk Route, which is a symbol of China’s cultural links with countries such as India and Indonesia. “The revival of the Silk Road is intended as a peaceful way for doing business and trade,” she added.

Prof Chen said that she had visited India in May 2017. On that visit, during “my discussion with local agencies, I got the impression that in India there is interest in the BRI,” she recalled.

Speaking of Sino-Indian and US-China relations in this context, particularly the conflict over terms of trade between the latter, she said that the US has “smeared and stigmatised the BRI as a death-trap and accused China of using it for advancing its geo-strategy.” She attributed this to the US losing trust in China and being against globalisation.

Her reference to India’s interest comes as a surprise because the priority of the BRI is now shifting from the phase of consensus-forming among countries to implementation by way of strategic matching and action-plan preparation.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:- DNA India

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