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India Refuses To Endorse China’s BRI Project At SCO Summit

India refused to sign the passage endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s President Xi Jinping’s project, in the New Delhi declaration issued after the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (CSO) leaders’ conference.

In a statement released following a virtual summit of the grouping India hosted, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, they reiterated their support for the BRI.

The BRI paragraph in the New Delhi declaration of 2023 reads, “Reaffirming their support for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) initiative, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan note the ongoing work to jointly implement this project, including efforts to link the construction of the Eurasian Economic Union and BRI.”

A similar phrase was adopted in the Samarkand declaration in 2022 when India refused to sign off on the paragraph.

India has consistently opposed the BRI project, as it says the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor violates India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

According to the declaration, the member states also deemed it essential to ensure the implementation of projects to foster cooperation in areas of the digital economy, high technology, and modernising current international rail and road routes. These projects included the SCO Economic Development Strategy 2030 adopted by “interested member states” and the SCO Economic Development Strategy 2030.

“Strong connectivity is crucial for the progress of any region. Better connectivity enhances mutual trade and fosters mutual trust,” he said. “However, in these efforts, it is essential to uphold the basic principles of the SCO charter, particularly respecting the sovereignty and regional integrity of the member states,” PM Modi said.

Tuesday’s declaration stated, “The member states note the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism, as well as unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary goals.”