After opposing China’s ambitious plan since its inception, India has now said that it is open to any suggestion on the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project if its sensitivities are taken into account.
The statement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs after Russia urged it to find a way to join the OBOR initiative.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had on Monday pitched for India joining the project, hoping that New Delhi would find a way out to benefit from the mega project without sacrificing its position over it.
“On this particular suggestion, also I think I have mentioned in the past that if there are suggestions, if there is a view which takes into account our sensitivities in the matter then there is something which we are willing to look at,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
He also said India’s position on OBOR is “very clear”.
This comes amid reports of differences between China and Pakistan CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), which is the only operational part of the vast OBOR connectivity project.
Pakistan has reportedly stopped work on the three CPEC road projects for which China has stopped the funding.
Leading Pakistani daily Dawn reported that the country’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal confirmed to the 22-member Parliamentary Committee on CPEC that the works on the three road projects had been stopped.
However, the committee, in a press release on Monday evening, went to great lengths to send the message that the projects had not been abandoned. The statement however ended up underlining the inability of the financially strained Pakistan government from carrying on with the work.
“The meeting was informed that contrary to the speculation in the media, the reports of shelving three infrastructure projects is not correct, rather, Chinese side was reviewing the financial mechanism of these projects and these would be started upon receipt of approval from the Chinese side,” read the statement.
China had stunned Pakistan on November 20 by stopping the funding for the three projects. The stop-funding announcement sparked speculation on whether it was retribution for the limited spine that Pakistan had showed.