At SCO meet, India takes aim at China’s Belt and Road Initiative

New Delhi: Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar said, in an apparent reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The External Affairs Minister was speaking at the virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) hosted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

A joint communique issued at the end of the meeting said Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support for China’s BRI and to work jointly to implement the project.

India was not among the SCO-member countries that supported the BRI.

In his address, Jaishankar also said India intends to foster greater cooperation with the SCO member states in countering the global food crisis.

He later tweeted: “Represented India at the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government (CHG) which has just concluded. Underlined that we need better connectivity in the SCO region built on the centrality of interests of Central Asian states.”

Stressing on better connectivity, Jaishankar said it will unlock the economic potential of the SCO region, in which Chabahar port and the International North South Transport Corridor could become enablers. “Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states and respect international law,” he said.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

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