Expressing disappointment over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision against attending the recently concluded OBOR meet in Beijing, Chinese consul-general Ma Zhanwu today hoped that Indian leadership would attend the next meeting in 2019 at the same venue.
"China had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers to the One Belt One Road (OBOR) meet in Beijing. However, they did not find it convenient to attend the meet. Some Indian scholars had attended," Ma Zhanwu said at a Calcutta Chamber of Commerce session on Indo-China relationship.
He said that representatives from 130 countries had attended the OBOR meet.
Zhanwu said the idea behind OBOR was not to form a small bloc against any country, but to explore the possibilities of working together.
China's foreign policy was guided by the five principles of 'Panchsheel', Zhanwu said, adding his country always believed in non-aggression and peaceful co-existence with the neighbours.
The Chinese consul-general said the two countries have differences which could not be solved in the short term but were kept within control through negotiations. Zhanwu said, "Some see China as a security threat."
"We have great respect for India. Still, there have been apprehensions when China builds spaceships, re-positions its aircraft carrier," he said.
An atmosphere for bilateral relationship is important for proper economic cooperation between the two countries.
"I am dismayed over the slow progress of economic cooperations between India and China in terms of trade and investment. In the next five years, China will invest USD 750 billion globally and import USD eight trillion of commodities and services," he said. Zhanwu hoped that India would be able get a big chunk of those investment and import orders.
(With PTI inputs)