India absent at Belt and Road Forum but its presence felt at China’s mega show

India is often represented as an elephant in the Chinese media and cartoons.

On Sunday, the elephant appeared to have surpassed the pages and entered the Forum of the Belt and Road (BRF), China’s largest trade fair for economic strength and growing strategic weight, and became a strong presence that nobody wanted to talk about but Everyone knew.

India, the developing economy that is experiencing the fastest growth with a growing middle class of $ 300 million, cheap labor, a command of the English and the young population, was the most notable shortage on BRF Sunday.

Western powers have not sent either heads of state, but were represented by high-level delegations.

The United States, South Korea and Japan – unhappy unknown by ties with China – delegations have also sent; Even an exclusive North Korean government sent two representatives although they remain adequately discreet the first day of the two-day forum. India made the decision not to deploy even its China-based diplomats to the forum because of its concerns and objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Kashmir to Pakistan-occupied (POK).

China, as we learned, was aware that India’s concerns in CPEC had hampered the participation of its leaders in the forum. But it is expected that Beijing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sends a certain level of representation in the forum.

For example, although India was invited by China to send a contingent of troops to participate in the Second World War remembrance parade in Beijing in September 2015, it rejected the invitation, but sent the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs VK Singh for Attend the military parade.

It is likely that China has provided a similar response. But that did not happen.

A senior politician from the South Asian neighborhood with old ties to India, but increasingly close relations with China took two steps back and wondered about the absence of India.

“This is the case of India,” he said with an uncomfortable smile.

Some other diplomats who did not wish to be identified said that it was India’s decision not to attend the forum and that they had no comment to offer.

There would have been little mention of India during the academic sessions and the discussion that followed the inauguration of the BRF by President Xi Jinping.

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