India refuses to support China's Belt and Road Initiative
India was the only member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation that did not endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Sunday, Hindustan Times reported. The organisation released a 17-page joint document at the end of the summit in Qingdao.
India is apprehensive of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious project as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the initiative, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said India’s position on the project “is spelt out” and that India “supports all connectivity initiatives but they should be keeping in mind territorial sovereignty, integrity” in all areas.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said connectivity with India’s neighbours and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was a priority for his government. The prime minister also floated the concept of SECURE, or security for citizens, economic development, connectivity in the region, unity, respect of sovereignty, and environment protection.
India became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2017. Other full members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. Chinese President Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain also attended the summit.