India again refrains from extending support to China’s Belt and Road Initiative: SCO Joint Statement

SCO 2023

India has again opted out of supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), becoming the only country in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) refusing to endorse the project.
The New Delhi Declaration after the conclusion of the summit, which took place on Tuesday under India’s chairmanship, stated that Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support to the BRI.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Delhi Declaration stated, “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.”

“They spoke in favour of implementing the Roadmap for gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements by the interested Member States,” the statement also said.

India has earlier as well refused to support Xi Jinping’s flagship programme for trade and connectivity. During the previous SCO meets as well, India has not changed its stance on the BRI and has become the country not to endorse the project.

“The Member States intend to broaden and deepen cooperation for sustainable socio-economic development and to improve the well-being and living standards of the people in the SCO region,” the SCO New Delhi Declaration said, adding, “They consider it important to ensure the implementation of the SCO Economic Development Strategy 2030 adopted by interested Member States, other joint programmes and projects aimed at promoting cooperation in such priority areas.”

Meanwhile, virtually addressing the SCO meeting of heads of state on Tuesday, Xi reiterated Beijing’s stand of enhancing BRI and talked about “high-quality Belt and Road cooperation” with development strategies of various countries and regional cooperation initiatives, state news agency Xinhua reported.

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