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China hails move for NE trade

Scholars in China have cautiously welcomed India’s move to invite limited Chinese investments for the development of its northeastern states by connecting them with Bangladesh’s Chittagong port.

India has unveiled a major plan for the region’s development by connecting them with Chittagong port and invited for the first-time limited Chinese investments, which were shunned till now owing to security concerns in the border areas. Senior cabinet ministers from Assam, Tripura and Nagaland, accompanied by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, visited the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou last weekend and met the Indian and Chinese businessmen. Global Times in a report said the invitation to China to participate in an India-Bangladesh connectivity project is a surprise move that the Chinese observers broadly and cautiously welcomed.

“If the Indian government confirms an invitation to China to participate in its northeastern projects, that means India is shifting toward China’s belt and road initiative,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for the International Studies Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies in Beijing, told the daily.

China would highly welcome India’s proposal, Zhao said, given the recent uncertainties in the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM), which is part of the BRI. But it was a decision that needed to be made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government, Zhao noted. China is promoting Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar as part of its BRI.

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