Beijing: India sees China’s Silk Road initiative as a geopolitical competition and is using the Kashmir issue as an “unfounded excuse” to oppose the ambitious project, Chinese state media Thursday alleged and asked New Delhi to “abandon” its “cliche mentality”.
“The official reason the Indian government rejected the offer to join the initiative (Silk Road) is that it is designed to pass through Kashmir. However, it is just an unfounded excuse as Beijing has been maintaining a consistent position on the Kashmir issue, which has never changed,” one of the two articles on India by state-run Global Times said.
“India sees the Belt and Road initiative as a geopolitical competition,” the article said, criticising India for hindering Beijing’s push into South Asia and the world with multi-billion Silk Road project which is also known as the ‘Belt and Road’ (BR).
“Whether to continue to boycott or join the Belt and Road remains a conundrum for New Delhi,” it said adding that, India is the only one which can help itself.
The article said that India should give up its “biased” view on the BR initiative.
“It is high time to abandon the cliché mentality of associating everything with geopolitics. India will surely see a different world if it does,” the article said.
Referring to India’s reservations to attend the BR summit called by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the article said it may be an “embarrassing occasion” for India as the meeting is backed by “China’s peripheral countries, notably Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Pakistan”.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently said 20 heads of state will attend the summit, together with over 50 leaders from international organisations, over 100 ministerial officials and more than 1,200 guests from around the world.
The article referred to a comment by Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar during his visit here last month to co-chair the upgraded India-China strategic dialogue, saying India is examining China’s invitation to attend the summit and “how a country whose sovereignty has been violated can come on an invitation”.
In the meantime, however, state-run Chinese media stepped up campaign to pressurise India to join the summit.
China apparently is keen about India’s participation in the summit as the project struggled to make headway in the region except the USD 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) where both Beijing-Islamabad are putting all efforts to show early harvest.