Jaishankar manifested India’s deep reservations about China’s BRI, a global infrastructure initiative, which has presence in PoK in the form of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), by not joining the leaders of other member-states in endorsing the same in the joint statement issued after the meeting. India has never endorsed BRI in any SCO document in the past too.
“Underlined that we need better connectivity in the SCO region built on centrality of interests of Central Asian states,” tweeted Jaishankar after the meeting.
“Will unlock the economic potential of this region in which Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor could become enablers. Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member-states and respect international law,” he added.
The minister underscored that fair market access was also important for improving India’s trade with SCO. “Our total trade with SCO members is only $141 billion, which has potential to increase manifold. Fair market access is to our mutual benefit & only way to move forward,” he said, adding that India will work with SCO member-states to counter the food crisis.
Jaishankar also reiterated India’s “firm commitment” towards deepening multilateral cooperation in the areas of food and energy security, climate change, trade and culture. While the joint statement didn’t specifically mention the Ukraine conflict, it said that the member-states rejected unilateral sanctions and also “block, ideological and confrontational” approaches to solving global problems. India doesn’t support unilateral sanctions and it called upon the international community at the UN recently to not take any measure related to the Ukraine conflict that could further complicate the global economy.
The joint statement stressed that the unilateral application of economic sanctions, other than those adopted by the UN Security Council, is incompatible with the principles of international law and has a negative impact on “third countries and international economic relations”.
It also said the participants stressed that the member-states, in accordance with the principles of the SCO Charter, adhere to a line that “excludes block, ideological and confrontational approaches” to solving problems of international and regional development, countering traditional and non-traditional challenges and security threats.
“Taking into account the opinions of the member-states, they confirmed the relevance of initiatives to promote interaction in the construction of a new type of international relations in the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the formation of a common vision of the idea of creating a community with a common destiny for mankind,” it said.
All member-states reaffirmed, according to the joint statement, their commitment to the formation of a more representative, democratic, fair and multipolar world order based on the “universally recognised principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security, cultural and civilisational diversity, mutually beneficial and equal cooperation of states with the central coordinating role of the UN”.