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A new Chinese welcome for India to join – belatedly – the  Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has come with a caveat and a note that it (China) does not need to “beg” India (and Japan) to join the initiative.

The Chinese media has always regaled in making somewhat condescending remarks about India vis-à-vis China, and the Chinese daily Global Times said in a commentary on Wednesday that China does not need to “beg New Delhi” or agree to its demands.

Including Japan in the commentary (Japan has also not joined the Belt and Road Initiative) the daily said that if the two countries joined the initiative, they could act as examples for other countries which are yet to join the initiative, a news agency says, quoting the daily.

Hu Weijia, the writer of the commentary, said: “We are willing to see the initiative help build up a cooperation platform for countries along the route, but China does not need to beg any countries, Japan and India included, to join the initiative.”

India’s refusal to join the initiative so far has been primarily because of its opposition to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) going through disputed land, such as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. India boycotted last month’s meeting in Beijing, where top leaders of the world, including the US, participated. China has been raving and ranting since then, about India’s non participation, even hinting that India’s entry into the NSG would become difficult. India has sent no backlash to such instigations so far.

The Global Times, which prides itself in being China’s unofficial spokesperson, carried another article, by Liu Jainxi, in which India was seen as being “over-concerned,” about China’s intentions, while viewing  “bilateral relationship with China through the lens of geopolitics and regards Beijing as a strategic rival.

Says the article: “China has put forward the Belt and Road initiative to aid regional connectivity. Beijing sincerely hopes that New Delhi can play a part in and benefit from the infrastructure initiative. However, New Delhi is over-concerned about Beijing’s intentions, and there are even critical voices in India against Modi’s China-friendly remarks.

“It is because New Delhi still views the bilateral relationship with China through the lens of geopolitics and regards Beijing as a strategic rival,” the article stated.

Defending the country’s controversial stance, the article says that every time China reaches out to strengthen cooperation with countries regarded by India as within its sphere of influence, New Delhi “worries the cooperation is deliberately targeting it. If New Delhi can understand China’s connectivity initiative from the perspective of regional development, this will help enhance mutual trust between the two countries.”

This article also said that the Indian media need not make a fuss over the alleged Indian airspace violation by Chinese military helicopters last week.

India Legal Bureau

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