Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not expected to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next month, India will send his representative to the summit, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi claimed here on Tuesday. "India will have a representative. We welcome the Indian representative as well as members of the business and finance community to take part in the summit," he said.
China is keen to see India participating in the event because it will add to the credibility of the Belt and Road programme. New Delhi, however, has not confirmed it participation in the May 14-15 event.
Attending the summit would mean that India is softening its stance on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of the One Belt, One Road programme. India has objected to the fact that passes the corridor through a disputed area in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
India wants a clear statement from China that the corridor would not affect Indian claim over the Kashmir areas under Pakistan's control, but Wang indicated that Beijing will not budge from its stance on the CPEC. "As for disputes in Kashmir, China's position has remained unchanged. The CPEC has no relationship with the dispute in certain regions. I want to reaffirm this to our Indian friends," he said at a press conference in Beijing.
He also claimed that it is China which is planning the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor though many believe that the initiative came from New Delhi. "India is taking part in this initiative in its own way. For example, we have the Bangladesh China India Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor which is one of the major economic corridors China is planning with neighbouring countries. India is part of that with Bangladesh and Myanmar. The four countries are ready to advance the economic corridor within the framework of Belt and Road."