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India to play insignificant role if it joins OBOR in future, taunts China

The two-day Belt and Road Forum which is being attended by leaders from 29 countries

Press Trust of India 

China, flag, India
Photo: Shutterstock

on Monday taunted New Delhi for turning down its One Belt and Road (OBOR) invite by saying that will have a very “small role” to play if it decides to join the initiative in the future. 

"It is strange that the onlooker is more anxious than the players. While cares about its neighbours' debt burden, the neighbours appear willing to take on more," state-run Global Times said in a report. 

The article further stated that given the active responses from countries along the route, there is no way for to impede its neighbouring countries from cooperating with in infrastructure development. India's refusal to join China's high-profile initiative will not at all affect the cooperation in infrastructure development among its neighbouring countries, the report added. 

The two-day Belt and Road Forum which is being attended by leaders from 29 countries, including Pakistan, has been boycotted by due to sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion CPECBSE -4.45 % (China-Economic Corridor), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 

"was openly sceptical of China's Belt and Road Forum (BRF) hours ahead of the opening of the event, mainly due to concerns over the China-Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key project of the B&R, and whether it might influence the disputed Kashmir region," the report said. 

The article also took a jibe at India's stand, calling it regrettable despite Beijing's offer to go easy on its Kashmir stand. "would never force any country to participate in the B&R if it was too sceptical and nervous to do so. It is regrettable but not a problem that still maintains its strong opposition to the B&R, even though has repeatedly said its position on the Kashmir dispute would not change because of the CPEC," the article said. 

Referring to the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on March 13, a day before the two-day B&R summit, it said also cited the potential debt burden as one of its other concerns, saying that, "connectivity initiatives must follow the principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create an unsustainable debt burden for communities." 

On Saturday, and inked new deals worth nearly $500 million, covering airport, port and highway construction, it said. 

"As regards the potential debt burden, Pakistan's repayments will peak at around $5 billion in 2022, but this will be offset by transit fees charged in the CPEC," another media report said.

First Published: Mon, May 15 2017. 13:33 IST