New Delhi [India], Apr 5 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Responding to a query on media reports regarding possible cooperation with China on BRI, MEA official spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, said in a statement, “We have seen some media reports alluding to our possible cooperation with China in ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)/’Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI).”

“Our position on OBOR/BRI is clear and there is no change. The so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he continued.

“We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Kumar added.

According to media reports, Beijing has pushed for New Delhi’s inclusion in the BRI project in the last few years for greater cooperation. China asserts that the massive economic project would benefit the country’s economies in the long-run.

The BRI aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road. It will bring opportunities in multiple fields including trade, connectivity, physical infrastructure development, tourism and investment.

The CPEC project, which is a part of this initiative has been criticised by India since it passes through disputed Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) region. On the other hand, China has said that it had respected all territorial laws and that the issue was an “internal matter” between New Delhi and Islamabad. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.