India likely to skip China's Belt and Road forum
India appears likely to skip China's mega Belt and Road forum beginning here on Sunday as New Delhi is yet to confirm its participation in the two-day event.
India's likely absence comes even as its neighbours are attending. The top leadership of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar are attending, while Bangladesh and Nepal are sending high-level delegations.
On Friday, Nepal officially inked a deal with China on OBOR for development of cross-border connectivity.
India has been unwilling to join the the OBOR conference over its objections to the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key artery of China's Belt and Road project, which cuts through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which is claimed by New Delhi.
New Delhi is not likely to send anyone, a source had told IANS earlier.
Phone calls to the Indian embassy went unanswered.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Indian scholars were coming for the meet.
China's ambitious project envisages connecting Asia, Europe and Africa through a network of highways, trains, and ship lanes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of 29 countries will be at the event. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already arrived along with four Chief Ministers, while Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe is also attending.
Countries like the US, Japan, South Korea and France have decided to send official representations for the meet.