SCIO briefing on development of Belt and Road Initiative

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Ning Jizhe, vice director of the Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, head of the National Bureau of Statistics

Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce

Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

August 27, 2018

Hindustan Times:

I just want to ask you if China is willing to address India's concern with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), especially on other projects which are passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, because India says it violates its sovereignty. 

Zhang Jun:

I have some points to add to this: Firstly, India is an important neighbor of China. Both of them are developing countries with emerging markets. Guided by the leaders of the two countries, China-India relations have shown good momentum and entered a new stage of development. If we take a moment to recall, we can see that since April this year, in just three months, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have held three important meetings in Wuhan, Qingdao of China and Johannesburg of South Africa to reach a broad consensus. This has injected new impetus into the development of bilateral relations.

Secondly, India is historically an important country along the ancient Silk Road. It is regarded as a natural partner to build the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation. The exchanges between the two countries through history have left many interesting tales. As developing countries and emerging markets, the two countries are facing similar developmental tasks. As such they both have a lot of room and potential for cooperation to strengthen infrastructure construction. In fact, both sides have already cooperated in numerous ways in this aspect. As you know, India is a founding member and the second largest shareholder of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Currently, 20 percent of the investment projects of the AIIB are located in India. 

Thirdly, China has repeatedly emphasized that the CPEC is an economic cooperation project. Its implementation will not change China's long-standing position on the Kashmir dispute.

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