Despite Dispute Over Arunachal, Government Seeks China’s Participation In North-East Connectivity PlanNorth-East India and Chittagong port in Bangladesh. (via Google Maps)

The Indian government is exploring the possibility of involving the Chinese in its efforts to bolster connectivity in the North-East, Times of India has reported.

“Southwest China can use the northeast as a hub to go to the Indian Ocean through Chittagong,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said.

Madhav along with the cabinet ministers from three BJP-ruled states in the North-East, Assam, Nagaland and Tripura are in China to discuss the plan. The team however, does not have any minister from Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims to be South Tibet.

“Where there is mutually beneficial arrangement possible, there we’ll take them. Where there are concerns, we won’t allow many people there,” Madhav added.

India has been wary of allowing the implementation of China’s Belt and Road initiative across its borders till now, but an arrangement regarding a Chinese role in bolstering connectivity in the North-East may indicate a departure from the policy.

The plan involves using the Chittagong port in Bangladesh for transporting goods from the North-East instead of transporting them all the way over to Mumbai and Chennai ports as is the arrangement currently. This will make goods from the North-East much more competitive due to far lesser transport costs. China might be roped in in the plan to connect the North-Eastern states to the Chittagong port.

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