India likely to skip China's Belt and Road forum

India has strong reservation over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China's prestigious "Belt and the Road Initiative" (BRI) and is expected to figure prominently in the two-day meet. But as of now, New Delhi does not seem to have responded either in the affirmative or negative.

However, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering Egypt as a country of operation, which means that the bank will allocate finances for different types of governmental and private sector projects.

Erdogan is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which begins on Sunday. We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised worldwide norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.

Some countries are wary of the debt burden that the Chinese financing could create. "India shares worldwide community's desire for enhancing physical connectivity and believes that it should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner".

"India's concerns about BRI are not due to its concerns about CPEC".

China's state-run Xinhua news agency characterised One Belt One Road as a "once in a lifetime crack at modern prosperity" for developing nations with infrastructure deficits which have been neglected by the west.

China unveiled its One Belt One Road initiative in 2013 as a development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among various countries.

Chinese president said "we welcome the arrival of whole Pakistan in China today".

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The boycott of the conference is also being interpreted by some as an apparent retaliation to the Chinese snub on the NSG membership and Masood Azhar issues.

There was no official announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding India's participation in the summit.

Nepal is touted as a transit bridge for the second biggest economy in the world to reach the South Asia for the fact that Chinese borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan are restricted by extreme natural conditions, India has great historical burden with China and Bhutan does not have diplomatic relations with China. But New Delhi seems unfazed.

Speaking to CNN Saturday, AIIB President Jin Liqun was positive that the USA could still play a role in China's projects, saying that "regardless of the membership of the United States. we can work together". These projects could involve other countries along the trade route, and in areas such as transport and logistics, utilities and infrastructure developments. China has also rejected suggestions that the new Silk Road is about Beijing trying to dominate the world and mould it to its liking, saying it is good for all and anyone can join.

The modern proposed SREB will forge China's links with western Europe through Central Asia and Russian Federation, and with the Mediterranean through West Asia.

Later, the Prime Minister also witnessed the signing of an MoU regarding roadmap for power projects under CPEC that was signed by Secretary Water & Power Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Sun Weidong.

However, it is important to mention that the Silk Road is an old trade road that links Asia with Africa and Europe, through 60 countries.

While India has raised the CPEC issue at various levels, including at the highest level with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Goa last October, Jaishankar's comments were the most critical and clear articulation.