The Narendra Modi government in India plans to change its (foreign) policy towards neighbouring China.
New Delhi has decided not to criticise or oppose Beijing’s high-profile ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project. Instead, India will oppose the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) – an extension of OBOR project and the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jingping – as it passes straight through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
India also plans to reshape its ties with China. A senior official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, who wished to remain anonymous, said that New Delhi would try hard to boost trade ties with Beijing and to restore peace in border areas.
According to diplomats, the decision indicates that the recent ‘Doklam crisis’ has made India soften its stand. New Delhi has realised that it will not be a wise decision to put China under pressure with the help of the US at a time when India’s relations with neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, are not in a good shape. In recent times, New Delhi has sent a number of senior officials to Beijing. Prime Minister Modi is set to visit China in June to attend the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Summit. External Affairs Ministry sources said that PM Modi would meet President Xi on the sidelines of the Summit to discuss various important bilateral, regional and global issues. The Indian premier will try to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues during the meeting. New Delhi has already informed Beijing that it will not interfere in the Maldives’ internal crisis.
India’s main aim is to disallow Pakistan to take advantage of the rivalry between New Delhi and Beijing. Keeping in mind the ‘friendly’ ties between China and Pakistan, the Modi government has decided to ‘accept’ the OBOR project. Earlier, India had said that trade communications between different continents should be established on the basis of international laws, good governance, transparency and equality. However, China didn’t pay attention to India’s concerns. The South Asian nation, which also started co-operating with China in various development projects under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is well aware of the fact that around 50 countries are involved in those projects and they might not accept India’s anti-China rhetoric.
However, India won’t change its stand on the CPEC project. The Modi administration has decided to raise the issue during upcoming meetings with China, as the corridor is posing a serious threat to India’s integrity and sovereignty.
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