China is using the three-day Belt and Road Forum, which opens on Thursday, to exert its political muscle and establish itself as a rallying point for international business exchanges. This is besides the stated goal of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is to construct infrastructure projects across the globe.
India is likely to be the only major country to not participate in the event which will attract leaders and officials from 150 countries. India has chosen not to avail of the economic opportunity because the BRI hurts India’s sovereignty; a part of the BRI passes through disputed areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Significantly, India has also objected to other aspects of the BRI programme, saying it it opaque and has the potential of pushing developing countries into a debt trap as they borrow heavily to support massive projects. Read More