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March 19, 2017

UN Security Council approves China’s resolution

Top Story

March 19, 2017

UNITED NATIONS: China's "One Belt, One Road" project that includes the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has received backing by being mentioned in a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, likely raising concerns in India that has expressed strong reservations about the plan.

As the UNSC on Friday adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by one year, the text called on countries to "strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative", the Indian media reported.

It also mentioned other "regional development projects", such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000), Chabahar port project, agreed between Afghanistan, India and the Islamic Republic of lran.

Chinese diplomats have portrayed the reference to the Belt and Road and a "community of shared destiny", both of which are Xi Jinping's pet initiatives, as a victory of sorts, hailing it as a first for China's diplomacy.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that "after the council's unanimous adoption of the resolution, Liu Jieyi, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, told reporters here that the Chinese concept was put into a Security Council resolution for the first time on Friday, thus "showing the consensus of the international community on embracing the concept, and manifesting huge Chinese contributions to the global governance".

Liu said the move would be "conducive to creating a favourable atmosphere for China to host a Belt and Road forum for international cooperation in Beijing this May in order to brainstorm on interconnected development".

China is in May expecting more than a dozen world leaders and representatives from many of the hundred international bodies and countries that China says have backed the plan. Beijing had also invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the summit. He will not attend, as he will be travelling to China later this year in September for the Brics Summit.

Moreover, India has also expressed reservations about the One Belt, One Road. Indian officials have publicly described it as a "national initiative" of China, saying it hence didn't require endorsement from India or other countries.

India has also told China, most recently during last month's Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, that while it was in favour of connectivity projects, CPEC, which China has billed as a flagship of the Belt and Road, violated India's sovereignty as it passes through AJK.

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