Giving a snub to China over One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, India and Japan are together planning to start several infrastructure projects across Africa, Iran, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
According to reports in The Economic Times, Japan, India and East Africa are mulling to fund several infrastructure projects. Japan may join hands with India in the expansion of Iran’s Chabahar port. The two countries are expected to come together to develop Trincomalee port in Easter Sri- Lanka.
India had skipped so called New Silk Road meeting due to its sovereignty concerns over the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
China took strong exception to India's stand on its Belt and Road initiative, saying it was welcome to participate in the mega project but New Delhi should explain what kind of "meaningful dialogue" it wantsBeijing to hold with it.
"Over the past four years since the project was initiated we have been holding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits" for the Belt and Road initiative, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "President Xi Jinping also said that we should build the Belt and Road into a road for peace. All countries should respect each other's sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other's development paths and social systems, and each other's cores interests and major concerns."
He further said, "Regarding the issue of Kashmir which the Indian side is concerned about, we have been stressing that the Belt and Road is a cooperation initiative for the common development and prosperity of the region. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as an important part of the Belt and Road, is not directed at any third parties, not relevant to disputes over territorial sovereignty and does not affect China's position on the Kashmir issue. We keep saying that the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative. We welcome participation from all countries to share the development opportunities."
On the other hand, Sri Lanka, which attended the just concluded Belt and Road Forum, has backed India’s concern over Kashmir issue, saying that it is difficult for New Delhi to accept the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it goes through the ‘heart of Indian interests’.
India would have joined “very happily” in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative of China, said Sarath Amanugama, Sri Lanka’s Minister on Special Assignment.
As per media reports, a few European countries have also expressed their reservations and refused to sign on the agreement under New Silk road. China is trying to convince those nations to make its project a grand success.
On the conditions of anonymity, a diplomat informed that France, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Portugal and Britain are the countries which have refused to sign the project.