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India could boycott China's Belt and Road Forum for the second time

Speculation is rife whether India would attend the second BRF as China has deepened its commitment to expand the $60 billion CPEC

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

China
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on Wednesday signalled that it will boycott China's second Belt and Road Forum for a second time, saying no country can participate in an initiative that ignores its core concerns on and

boycotted the first Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in 2017 after protesting to over the controversial China-Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied (PoK) overriding New Delhi's concerns.

recently said that next month plans to hold a much bigger, second BRF which will also be attended by

Speculation is rife whether would attend the second BRF as has deepened its commitment to expand the $60 billion CPEC, which aims to connect China's province with Pakistan's Gwadar port with a host of road, rail,

has also undertaken a host of under the aegis of the CPEC.

India's to China told the state-run that "above all, connectivity initiatives must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty, equality and of nations".

"No country can participate in an initiative that ignores its core concerns on and territorial integrity," he replied to a question about India's concerns over the BRI and whether India would take part in the second BRF meet.

The Indian envoy's interview was carried by the daily on Wednesday.

"To be honest, we have made no secret of our views and our position on the BRI is clear and consistent and one that we have conveyed to the authorities concerned.

"India shares the global aspiration to strengthen connectivity and it is an integral part of our economic and diplomatic initiatives. We ourselves are working with many and international institutions in our region and beyond on a range of connectivity initiatives," Misri said.

"However, it is also our belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance and rule of law. They must emphasise social stability and environmental protection and preservation, promote skill and and follow principles of openness, transparency and financial sustainability," the Indian said.

India along with the US and several other have been highlighting the concerns over the BRI projects, leaving a number of smaller in debt traps.

The concerns grew louder after China took over Sri Lanka's Hambantota port on a 99-year lease as debt swap.

Several countries including and even have wished to reduce the Chinese projects over debt concerns.

First Published: Wed, March 20 2019. 13:15 IST
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