New Delhi (Sputnik): Having facilitated the "Global Terrorist" declaration of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed's Masood Azhar at the UNSC for India recently, Beijing now expects a reciprocating gesture from India in terms of its participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Luo emphasised that India had the least reason to be absent from the BRI forum that was held in Beijing last month.
"The main theme of the BRI is to achieve win-win cooperation. It is not China's geostrategic tool. We are expecting India to be part of the BRI", the Chinese ambassador to India wrote in an article in the Indian daily Hindustan Times on Sunday.
India skipped the forum, which was attended by 37 heads of state and delegates from 150 countries and 90 international organisations around the world.
New Delhi, for the second consecutive year, cited the sovereignty concern connected with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the reason for its absence from the forum.
Nevertheless, the Chinese ambassador expressed hope in the article that positive changes in the bilateral relationship would lead to a change in the thinking in New Delhi.
"Recently, the listing issue of Masood Azhar has been resolved, adding positive factors to bilateral relations. We understand India's concerns on the BRI. It is only right to separate the issues left over by history with the BRI and the welfare of the two people", Luo added.
According to the Chinese ambassador to India, BRI will also become a major tool for India to narrow the trade deficit with China. The second BRI has expanded the areas of co-operation into agriculture, science and technology, ecological protection, cultural exchange etc., from just being an infrastructure connectivity project.
Some Indian scholars have called for rethinking India's existing policies and re-examining the project with a pragmatic attitude to avoid missing an opportunity.
"India's passive participation in BRI through the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) has been rendered meaningless, as the corridor has been replaced by the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The question of sovereignty as regards the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is not new. Did we stop engaging with China or Pakistan on account of this? If not, I believe, it is time for India to rethink on the question of BRI", Bali R. Deepak, professor at the Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told Sputnik.
It is expected that a fourth meeting of the Joint Study Group of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) will be held later this year to complete the joint study report, as mentioned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Wuhan Informal Summit in 2018.
The views and opinions expressed by the speakers in this article are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.