BEIJING, Aug 17 - Scholars in China have cautiously welcomed India�s move to invite limited Chinese investments for the development of its northeastern States by connecting them with Bangladesh�s Chittagong port.
India has unveiled a major plan for the development of its NE States by connecting them with Chittagong port and invited for the first-time limited Chinese investments which were shunned till now due to security concerns in the border areas.
Senior Cabinet ministers from Assam, Tripura and Nagaland � the States governed by the BJP and its allies � accompanied by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav visited the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou last weekend and met Indian and Chinese businessmen.
State-run Global Times in a report said the invitation to China to participate in an India-Bangladesh connectivity project is a surprise move that Chinese observers broadly and cautiously welcomed.
�If the Indian government confirms an invitation to China to participate in its northeastern projects, that means India is shifting toward China�s Belt and Road Initiative,� Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for the International Studies Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies in Beijing told the daily.
China would highly welcome the Indian proposal, Zhao said, given the recent uncertainties in the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) which is part of the BRI.
But it was a decision that needed to be made by the Indian Prime Minister or the national government, not a party political leader, Zhao noted.
China is promoting Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) as part of its BRI.
The BRI focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. The BRI includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project over which India has protested as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Lan Jianxue, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies echoed Zhao�s views, saying as long as the project did not relate to any territorial dispute, China would likely get involved.
�Cooperation between India and China is promising, but India needs to banish any vestiges of a Cold War mentality,� Lan told the Global Times.
An op-ed article in Global Times also welcomed Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe�s announcement to launch �understanding India� programme in ICCR missions abroad to �demystify� India. �The good news is, New Delhi is trying to have some kind of �understanding India programme� in major countries like China,� the article said. � PTI