India rules out joining BRI at SCO summit

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jun 2018 09:11:24


By Manash Pratim Bhuyan,

QINGDAO (China),

PM says united approach needed to secure region at the annual summit of SCO

IN A clear message of India’s continued opposition to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said mega connectivity projects must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries, asserting that New Delhi would support initiatives which ensure inclusivity.

In an address at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in this port city, the Prime Minister also coined an acronym SECURE which he explained: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity and ‘E’ for environment protection.

Referring to the threat of terrorism, Prime Minister Modi talked about the “unfortunate” example of the effects of terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and hoped that the bold steps taken by its President Ashraf Ghani will be respected by all the players in the region.
It was the responsibility of the bloc to ensure that the reasons for which Afghanistan’s unity, integrity and sovereignty were affected in the past are not repeated, he said, adding India will play an important role in the SCO Contact group on Afghanistan.

Officials said almost all SCO leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about the dangers of terrorism and extremism and resolved to contain it with a concrete action plan.

Talking about the importance of transport corridors, Modi, in presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, said India’s commitment to connectivity projects is reflected in its involvement in International North South Corridor project, development of the Chabahar port and Ashgabat agreement.

“Connectivity with the neighbouring countries is India’s priority. We welcome the connectivity projects which are sustainable and efficient and which respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries,” he said. India has been severely critical of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the pet project of Xi, as the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity. Except India, all other member nations of the SCO including Russia, Pakistan and Iran have been supporting China’s BRI.

PM Modi, Pak President shake hands at SCO Summit: AMID frosty bilateral relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday exchanged pleasantries after a press conference by the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here.

The two leaders shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the end of the media briefing which was addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. China is the host and chair of the SCO.