China-India mull joint economic project in Afghanistan

Web Desk
April 28,2018

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This handout photograph released by India´s Press Information Bureau (PIB) on April 28, 2018 shows India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping looking on in a house boat, at East Lake, in Wuhan.-AFP

WUHAN: China and India has reached an understanding during the two-day informal Wuhan summit to launch a joint economic project in Afghanistan, Indian media reported.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China where he held meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce border tensions after a high-altitude standoff in the Himalayas last year.

At the conclusion of summit, China's foreign ministry said in a statement that Xi had told Modi that "a friendly Sino-Indian relationship is a significant, positive factor in safeguarding world stability," adding that "China and India should be good neighbours and good friends".

As per the understanding on the Afghanistan project, officials of both sides will identify the scheme in follow-up discussions and work out modalities, the report further added.

This will be a first such project in the war-torn country where China is trying to expand its influence and has also offered to expand the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Kabul.

A report earlier this month had stated that the CPEC -- the flagship project of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) -- is being extended to Afghanistan.

The BRI has injected “fresh vitality” to Asia’s economic cooperation and helped the continent reshape its international relations, said the Asian Competitiveness Annual Report 2018 released here on the sidelines of China’s Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference.

China in December had unveiled its plans to extend the USD 50 billion CPEC to Afghanistan.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his meeting with his Pakistan and Afghan counterparts had offered to extend CPEC to Afghanistan. “China and Pakistan are willing to look at Afghanistan, on the basis of win-win, mutually beneficial principles, using an appropriate means to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan,” Wang had said.


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