Trump administration echoes India's 'One Belt One Road' stance
The Trump administration appears to have expressed support for India's opposition to China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who visited India last week, expressed his opposition to the OBOR while addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee. He echoed India's concern that the OBOR passes through a disputed territory, a possible reference to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
"In a globalized world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating 'one belt, one road'," Mattis said. "That said, the One Belt One Road also goes through disputed territory, and I think, that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate," he added.
In May, India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF), expressing concerns over the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) flagship section of OBOR that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. An Indo-US joint statement during PM Modi's visit to America in June declared that countries must respect sovereignty while promoting regional economic connectivity. The statement indicated the US' endorsement of India's stance on the OBOR.