India Sticks To Its Guns: Declines China’s Invitation To Second Belt Road Forum

India Sticks To Its Guns: Declines China’s Invitation To Second Belt Road ForumIndia and China flags (Representative image)

After snubbing the the first edition of China's Belt and Road Forum (BRI) in 2017, India has yet again turned down an official invitation from China to attend the second edition of the forum scheduled to take place later in April 2019, reports Times of India.

The said invitation was extended to Ministry of External Affairs by Chinese authorities last month.

The Government has never missed an opportunity to display its disagreement and disgruntlement with respect to BRI, as it undermines India's sovereignty in the form of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region which lies in the Pakistan-occupied region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

China has been pressing against India to review its position on BRI and participate in it, emphasising the turnaround in ties since the informal Wuhan Summit held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in April 2018.

Albeit India supports the idea of worming with China on infrastructure initiatives at different levels of engagement, it demands international norms to be followed and the sovereignty of nations to be respected.

Also, with growing concerns of countries joining BRI ending up with huge and unsustainable debts from China, India has repeatedly warned against irresponsible debts being taken up in the name of connectivity projects.

With an exception of Bhutan, all other Indian neighbours participated in the first BRI forum meeting in 2017.