China urges India to join One Belt, One Road project

Beijing: Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui has called on India to join its One Belt, One Road project and assured New Delhi that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would not impinge on anyone’s sovereign rights.

The Chinese embassy on Monday released the text of Luo’s remarks made to an Indian think-tank on Friday.

“Some people in the West misread China and tend to think that the Dragon and the Elephant are inevitable rivals, and that China would not like to see India developing. This conception is wrong.

“We hope to see India develop well and we are more than happy to help India develop to achieve common development,” he said in an address at the United Services Institute.

Despite recent tensions between the two countries, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have opportunities to meet each other on the sidelines of summits to be held by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, G20 and BRICS.

We need to properly manage differences. As two large neighbours, it is natural that we have some differences.

Even family members may have problems, Luo said.

“There was a need to set a long-term vision for China-India relations. Here’s my suggestion. First, start negotiations on a China-India treaty of good neighbourliness and friendly cooperation.

“Second, restart negotiation on China-India free trade agreement. Third, strive for an early harvest on the border issue. Fourth, actively explore the feasibility of aligning China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and India’s Act East Policy,’’ he said.

The initiative and regional connectivity could provide China and India with fresh opportunities and highlights for the bilateral cooperation.

The initiative is a major public product China has offered to the world. As close neighbours, China and India could be natural partners in connectivity and the project.

The GDP of India now is roughly that of China in 2004, some 13 years ago.

“China leads India by 13 years, mainly because we started reform and opening up 13 years earlier,” Luo said. — China Daily/Asia News Network

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