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QUESTION NO.849 ONE BELT AND ONE ROAD INITIATIVE

June 26, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.849
TO BE ANSWERED ON 26.06.2019

ONE BELT AND ONE ROAD INITIATIVE

849. SHRI RITESH PANDEY:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) The current stance of the Government on China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative (BRI);

(b) Whether the Government plans to use economic development projects as a foreign policy tool in South Asia, South-east Asia and Africa;

(c) If so, the planned investment therein; and

(d) If not, the strategies in place to counter BRI’s economic and foreign policy influence among India’s strategic Asian and African partners?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) Government’s position on China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) or ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) has been clear and consistent. The inclusion of the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC), which passes through parts of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir under illegal occupation of Pakistan, as a flagship project of ‘OBOR/BRI’, reflects lack of appreciation of India’s concerns on the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Government has conveyed to the Chinese side its concerns about their activities in Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and asked them to cease these activities.

Expansion and strengthening of connectivity is an integral part of India’s economic and diplomatic initiatives. At the same time, Government is of the firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international norms. They must follow principles of openness, transparency and financial responsibility and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of nations.

(b) to (d) India has a robust development cooperation agenda that constitutes a significant dimension of its close and multi-faceted ties with many partner countries, including in India’s neighbourhood. Extension of Government of India (GoI) Lines of Credit (LOCs) on concessional terms is an important component of this development partnership in diverse areas of socio-economic development such as power, transport, connectivity, agriculture and irrigation, manufacturing industries, water and sanitation, healthcare etc.

As part of the GoI LOC programme, 279 LOCs have been extended to 63 countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, Oceania and Commonwealth of Independent States worth nearly US$ 28 billion. Of this, 254 projects aggregating nearly US$ 4.70 billion have been completed, while 194 projects worth nearly US$ 19 billion are under implementation. These include 94 connectivity projects in five countries in India’s immediate neighbourhood being taken up with GoI LOC worth nearly US$ 6.6 billion.

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