India doesn't buy BRI at SCO summit but Chinese expert expresses hope over India-China relations
On Sunday, as the 18th and the biggest summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) till date drew toward its end, India refused to endorse China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is seen as a game-changing geo-economical project of Beijing.
All other six members of the SCO supported the BRI but India, which sees the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of the key parts of the BRI, as a violation of its territory and hence sovereignty since it passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made his first visit to the summit in Qingdao for the first time as the leader of a full-member of the SCO, made an indirect reference of the BRI saying any big project must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries and that India stood by initiatives that ensured inclusivity.
China and Pakistan have time and again asked India to join the BRI to gain benefits of the major project which has its tentacles spread over the world but New Delhi has stood to its position, saying it can't support something that hurts its sovereignty.
Chinese expert says SCO opens new page in India-China relations
However, although the SCO saw the fault lines surfacing yet again, the analysts felt the just-concluded summit will open a fresh page for China's relations with India, a Chinese expert said.
"This is a sign that China and India will use the good momentum to promote bilateral relations in a comprehensive way," China Global Times quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, as saying on Sunday, June 10.
The media also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met in Qingdao on Saturday, June 9, agreed to take their informal meeting in Wuhan in April end as the starting point to promote relations between the two countries, Xinhua News Agency reported.
While Jinping said China was willing to work with India to take the Wuhan meeting as a new beginning to continuously enhance the mutual trust politically and engage in cooperation that is mutually beneficial; Modi said the Wuhan meeting reinforced his faith on India's relations with China and predicted it to be a milestone in the history of the relations of the two nations, the Global Times piece said.
It also made a mention of Modi's speech at the 17thShangri-La Dialogue in Singapore where he stressed on India's exclusive relations with each power, including China.
"Modi's remarks run counter to the US' offer to be used as a pawn to contain China, and the Indo-Pacific strategy faces difficulties without India's role," the Global Times quoted Hu as saying.
He also said China and India aim for peaceful cooperation instead of a zero-sum game and the SCO summit is a chance for the two nations to expand consensus and manage differences between themselves.