Washington, Oct 4: The Donald Trump administration of the United States has backed India over its concerns and opposition to the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying no country should be in a position of dictating. It also said that the contentious road passes through a disputed territory.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who had returned after meeting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, emerged as a vocal opponent of the road under CPEC worth $60 billion, an initiative by US rival China.
“In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘one belt, one road’,” Secretary Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing.
“That said, the One Belt One Road also goes through disputed territory, and I think, that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” he further said, apparently backing India’s position on the matter. He was answering a question asked by Senator Charles Peters over One Belt One Road initiative.
“The One Belt One Road strategy seeks to secure China’s control over both the continental and the maritime interest, in their eventual hope of dominating Eurasia and exploiting natural resources there, things that are certainly at odds with US policy. So what role do you see China playing in Afghanistan, and particularly related to their One Belt One Road,” Senator Peter had asked.
India had gave the Belt and Road Forum a miss earlier this year due to the question of sovereignty. The One Belt One Road passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which is unacceptable to India.