China on Tuesday dismissed any apprehensions in India on its ambitious multi-billion dollar Silk Road projects stretching across continents to build infrastructure and improve connectivity with the avowed aim of expansion of trade and development.
It also sought to assure India that there are benefits for countries joining the projects envisaged under the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) unveiled by President Xi Jinping two years ago.
“There are some media which say China is in an expansion mode and damaging the world. The key objective of OBOR is to share benefits with all countries involved with China, the second largest economy in the world,” Liu Yunshan, the fifth-ranking member of the powerful Standing Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said.
He was answering a question on apprehensions in India about the OBOR projects that they may undermine India’s strategic economic and security interests.
Strategic experts in India are divided with some favouring that it should join the projects to reap the benefits while others view them with suspicion.
The OBOR comprises the entire periphery of the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, and also that seeks to connect the east with the west through the central Asian region.
Liu was interacting with a select group of top editors from international news organisations which had come to participate in the media cooperation forum on the OBOR organised by CPC’s organ, People’s Daily, the largest Chinese newspaper.
The meeting was held at the Great Hall of the People.
India has not officially commented on the OBOR in its full form.
Replies to questions in Parliament on the project always elicited the line that India has taken note of it.
India is silent on the implementation of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) in the Indian Ocean region.
New Delhi has objected to the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it goes through the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) but is taking part in the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor.
In order to implement the projects, China has set up a USD 40 billion Silk Road Fund and floated the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a subscribed capital of USD 50 billion.
India and 56 other countries are members of the Beijing-based AIIB.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines