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India refuses to endorse China's BRI

Press Trust of India  |  Qingdao (China) 

was the only country in the eight-nation Cooperation Organisation (SCO) today which refused to endorse China's ambitious Belt and Road initiative for which has signed pacts with nearly 80 countries and international organisations.

A declaration issued at the end of the two-day summit of the said Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and have "reaffirming their support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)" of

"appreciation for the joint efforts taken towards its implementation, including efforts to coordinate the development of the and the BRI and call for using the potential of the regional countries, international organisations and multilateral associations to create a broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal partnership in the space," it said.

In his address at the summit, Narendra Modi, in an oblique reference to the BRI, said any mega connectivity project must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries and assured India's full support to initiatives which ensures inclusivity.

has been severely critical of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the pet project of Xi Jinping, as the USD 50 billion Economic Corridor, which is part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied (PoK). says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity.

had unveiled the BRI in 2013 with an aim to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, region, and with a network of land and sea routes.

Xi has already announced that China would invest around USD 126 billion for the project. However, there has been suspicion among several countries that the main aim of the project is to expand China's influence globally.

According to Chinese officials, around 80 countries and international organisations have already inked pacts with for the project.

In his address, in presence of Xi, Modi said India's commitment to connectivity projects is reflected in its involvement in International North South Corridor project, development of the and the agreement.

"Connectivity with the neighbouring countries is India's priority. We welcome the connectivity projects which are sustainable and efficient and which respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 17:20 IST