New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shot down speculations on whether India would copy China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on October 4. He reiterated New Delhi's longstanding position on the project. EAM Jaishankar confirmed India would not be a part of China's BRI as the entire concept of the pan does not apply to India.
Speaking about the issue, Jaishankar said, "We are us and not just some other country. It's not just in this initiative but in a whole lot of areas. My own sense is as India becomes bigger, we will find concepts developed for other countries won't necessarily apply to us. It's not very likely we'll copy models (from others). We have a longstanding position on that. It is connected with sovereign matters. That has not changed."
On an earlier occasion, the Central government opined that no country can accept a project that ignores core concerns on territorial integrity. Last month during a briefing on the 100-day achievements of the External Affairs Ministry under the second term of the Narendra Modi-led government Foreign Minister Jaishankar confirmed there would be no rethinking on India's position on the BRI. India has time and again highlighted its concerns over the project, which has been labelled as a debt-trap by several leaders across the world.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.
The leader of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, originally announced the strategy during official visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan in 2013. 'Belt' refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called 'the Silk Road Economic Belt'; whereas 'road' refers to the sea routes or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
(with ANI inputs)