Dodging India Concerns, Chinese Envoy Says Belt And Road Not Solo Project

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is part of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project

Kolkata:  A top Chinese envoy to India has attempted to deflect India's direct concerns on the strategic One Belt, One Road project by attributing a large portion of the work that needs to be done to other Asian nations -- and not only to the communist nation.

"OBOR was born in China but it runs through a whole lot of East Asian countries and it is important to note that wherever OBOR goes, they share discussions, share instructions among them," Chinese Consul General in Kolkata Ma Zhanwu said at an event organised by the "independent" think tank Observer Research Foundation.

India has expressed strong reservations against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key segment of the OBOR, as the 3,000-kilomtre-long corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, meaning India will under no circumstances accept the project.

"It (OBOR) is not China's solo project but a kind of a symphony of all countries," Ma said.

The $50 billion CPEC connects Kashgar in western China with Gwadar port in Pakistan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has put his weight behind the OBOR as the communist nation works to expand its influence across Asia and beyond. Xi was made China's president for life after the ruling Communist Party amended the constitution in March. 

xi jinping afp

Chinese President Xi Jinping was made China's president for life after the ruling Communist Party amended the constitution in March (AFP)

In his speech at the opening session of the China-led non-profit Boao Forum for Asia earlier this week, Xi had said the OBOR will benefit the world. "China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others," he had said in an apparent attempt to defuse tension that China is using the OBOR to expand its influence.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held in October last year, had also introduced several reforms. 

"A lot of precise decisions have been taken in the 19th party congress of the CPC considering the goal of turning China into a prosperous... and beautiful country," Ma said at the event organised on the theme "Post 19th CPC, Institutional Changes in PRC".

He said the biggest challenge for the Chinese government is to bridge the income inequality. "...there are about four crore people living in poverty, so every year we need to pull out nearly 1.3-1.4 crore Chinese out of poverty to meet our national target. It is a huge task. The main need is to balance the inadequate or unbalanced development of the economy," he said.

With inputs from IANS