India can choose to take part in any Silk Road project: China


BEIJING: In a bid to convince India to shed its reservations and back the mega Silk Road initiatives, China today said besides linking its strategic ventures, Indian government can choose to take part in any of the projects in the South Asian region.

"China and India should be partners in Silk Road projects. We should be primary pushers of the projects," Liu Jinsong, Deputy Director General of Economic Affairs told Indian journalists here today.

"We (India, China) are the pioneers of globalisation. We can set the rules. We can cooperate with each other," he said.

Earlier, Chinese foreign ministry said the Silk Road projects, specially the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) over which India has concerns about Chinese domination in Indian Ocean can link up with India's 'Mausam' and 'Spice Road' projects.

Besides MSR, the projects include, a corridor connecting China with Europe through Central Asia, the Bangladesh- China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

India is taking part in preliminary meetings of the BCIM. Liu said Indian and Chinese firms can work together in different parts not simply in India but in the region.

He said the project maps in the official media showed Kolkata as the Indian lone port, but development projects can be undertaken in any place or port in India.

"India can choose the ports it wants to develop," he said. He also defended China's plans to build an economic corridor with Pakistan through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

He said the project did not interfere in the Kashmir issue which China wants India and Pakistan to resolve.

"The Karakoram highway was built 50 years ago, we are taking advantage of an old project, this is not a new action. We are just doing business," he said.

Asked why China objected to India's oil exploration projects with Vietnam in the South China Sea, Liu said, "If your exploration field is near Vietnam's coastal area no one will argue. But if you exploit a disputed area, it is a new action, so it is different".


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