Web Desk (April 25, 2018): India stood out at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), as the only member country not to express support for China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative.
A joint communiqué issued at the end of the meeting listed other SCO members, including Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, who “reaffirmed support” for the Belt and Road plan. India is the only member not mentioned.The communiqué also said all parties to the SCO supported utilizing the potential of the countries, international organizations and multilateral institutions in the region to establish a broad, open, mutually beneficial partnership.
Far from accepting the Chinese programme, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj listed a wide range of connectivity infrastructure projects being planned and executed by India in different countries.She mentioned India’s involvement in the Chabahar port development, India-Myanmar-Thailand highway, Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal initiative and the International North-South Transport Corridor.
China has inked agreements with India’s neighbours, Nepal and Sri Lanka, to build connectivity infrastructure. But India signaled on Tuesday it would not be pressurized by Chinese efforts to rope in other South Asian countries.