What is the connection between India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative? India and China have similar policies and strategies that focus on connectivity and free trade. Speaking at the China-India Youth Dialogue 2018, Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui highlighted China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ and India’s ‘Act East Policy’. He said with economic cooperation in mind, a synergy could be built between the two neighbours.
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“Every country is focusing on connectivity and free trade. India and China also have similar policies. Act-East and OBOR are natural, how do you synergize these two strategies together between the two countries for economic cooperation and development is important.”
Furthermore, the ambassador applauded Modi and Xi’s Wuhan Summit and described it as a historical milestone in bilateral relations. No doubt, the Wuhan Summit removed misconceptions between the two nations. India and China agreed that they are developing countries and should focus on improving the living standards of over a billion people.
But India has been annoyed by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)as it passes through the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region and has voiced concerns.
Luo said China was India’s largest trading partner. “Last year the bilateral trade volume reached $84 billion. Over a thousand Chinese companies are doing business in India, creating more than one lakh jobs. The two-way visits last year reached more than one million. Over 20,000 Indian youths are studying in China. The bilateral relations have entered the fast track of development.”
Moreover, he stressed the need for more IT cooperation and said that China has been pushing India to allow direct flights between Guiyang and Bengaluru. Luo also said that Beijing welcomed Indians engineers to work in China.