Why India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum

After three years of uncertainty surrounding China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the highly anticipated Belt and Road Forum (BRF) was finally held in May 2017 in Beijing. But India, Beijing’s most populous neighbour, was conspicuous in its absence.

Despite earlier concerns over a lukewarm response particularly from the West, the BRF won global recognition with 29 heads of state, 1500 delegates from over 130 countries and some 70 international organisations in attendance. Even the United States, which had earlier signalled its wariness towards the initiative, sent a high-profile delegation led by Matthew Pottinger, Senior Director for Asia at the National Security Council.

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