BEIJING, April 15 (APP):China Monday rejected assertion that it was ignoring Indian core concerns and territorial integrity and emphasized that Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was open and inclusive economic cooperation program and had never been involved in territorial disputes.

“I want to emphasize that the Belt and Road Initiative is an open and inclusive economic cooperation program and has never been involved in territorial disputes,” Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang said during his routine briefing while responding to a question about an interview of Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri in which he hinted that India was unlikely to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) as its core concerns of sovereignty and territorial integrity were being ignored.

The spokesperson said, “You should ask the Indian side if its government or various communities will participate in BRI cooperation or related activities.”

The success of the first BRF together with the bumper practical outcomes spoke volumes, he said and added the fact that more countries and international organizations were taking an active part in the second forum was further proof to its success.

Lu Kang said even though some countries had wrongly judged the project, the growing support for the initiative spoke volumes.

“Whether the Indian side will participate in the BRI forum, I think you need to ask India for a more specific answer. I would like to re-emphasize that the BRI is proposed by China, but it’s already an international public good,” he added.

The spokesperson said the first edition of BRF, held in May 2017 in the Chinese capital, was a success and many practical outcomes were achieved and now more countries and international organization were participating in the BRI which spoke volumes.

“Since its announcement, the Belt and Road cooperation have been open and inclusive for all countries and organizations interested in it. But if the relevant side would like to wait and see, we do not oppose that,” he added.

When asked India would lose many opportunities if it did not participate at the event, he pointed out that since its inception, the BRI cooperation program had been open and inclusive and open to all countries that were interested in joining and working for win-win cooperation.

“It excludes no one. If the relevant country would like to take some time to see, we can wait,” he added.

“You asked as this time a lot of countries and international organizations are coming to participate in the second BRF, if not participating means missing out opportunities. I am afraid you have to ask the countries that choose not to participate,” he concluded.