Beijing: Chinese Media on India – Amid a standoff between India and China in the Sikkim sector, a state-run Chinese news agency said on Sunday that India should shed its “strategic anxiety” over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and join the Belt and Road Initiative to become a cooperative partner and not a rival.
Criticising New Delhi’s boycott of the Belt and Road Forum conference held in May, the Chinese media asked India to shed its “China anxiety”.
India had boycotted the BRF after sovereignty concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Then, India said the Chinese ambitious initiative must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The commentary in Xinhua, considered an official view, read, “despite its strategic discomfort, it is important for India to get over its ‘China anxiety’ and carefully assess the initiative, recognise its potential benefits and seize the opportunities”.
“Instead of being rivals, the two countries, both of which are ancient civilisations endowed with a rich history, could become cooperative partners,” it said, citing the speech of Liu Jinsong, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese embassy in
India who had said “the sky and ocean of Asia are big enough for the dragon and elephant to dance together, which will bring about a true Asian Age.”
Today’s commentary said “staying away from the initiative is not the best choice New Delhi could have made.”
“It could have voiced its concerns and opinions on public occasions or in official statements as China is always willing to discuss all problems and possibilities with India on the basis of mutual benefits,” it said.
“Though proposed by China, the Belt and Road is not a ‘Chinese project.’ It is a multilateral initiative, with win- win results at its core,” it said.
Official Chinese media have in recent past have carried out several articles asking India to reconsider its decision to not back the BRI after India decided to boycott the BRF.
A recent official white paper by China on the 21st Maritime Silk Road even offered to link the CPEC with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor in order to provide India greater access to Central Asia.
Meanwhile, the observers claim that China’s frequent invitations to India to join the BRI highlights its own anxieties over the adverse impact of New Delhi’s lack of support to the multi-billion dollar investments in South Asia as it would deny access to India’s market consisting over 1.2 billion people.
The commentary came as troops of India and China are in a face-off since June 16 over the Chinese military’s attempt to construct a strategic road in Doklam region of the Sikkim sector, which India and Bhutan is strongly objecting to.