NEW DELHI: In a declaration issued at the end of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders’ summit, India once again refused to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative, PTI reported.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping that envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond.
New Delhi has opposed the plan saying that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, violates India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Apart from India, the economic and security bloc comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that strong connectivity is necessary for the progress of any region, PTI reported. “However, in these efforts, it is essential to uphold the basic principles of the SCO charter, particularly respecting the sovereignty and regional integrity of the member states,” he added.
The Belt and Road Initiative would significantly expand China’s economic and political influence, raising concerns in the United States as well.
Beijing has also faced criticism for saddling many developing countries with unsustainable debt. Over 100 nations have signed agreements with China for railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure projects.
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