India is a member of AIIB ( Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and NDB ( New Development Bank). However, India did not participate in this mammoth China conference on Belt and Road Initiative. It is said that over 120 nations and international organisations including Heads of UNO, WTO and IMF attended the Conference. India's reluctance to attend is to do with Chinese investment ( some 54 billion dollars ) in Pakistan side of Jammu Kashmir which India interprets as offence to Indian sovereignty over whole of Jammu Kashmir region.
All other SAARC nations except Bhutan attended the conference and they are also members of AIIB. The China promoted Belt and Road Initiative is welcomed by almost all nations including America, all East and West European nations, Japan, two Koreas and Russia. The ASEAN countries and African nations are enthusiastic participants. This initiative is to bring the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe closer through trade and economic linkages.
China is promoting in a modern way, the old silk routes both overland and over the sea. It is considered an ambitious giant economic venture that will transform world approach to economic, trade and social progress. It could very well even change the political landscape. The initiative would generate an investmrnt of over one trillion dollars. No nation would want to be left out as it could very well bring about a new World economic order. America which was initially reluctant, has had to change her stance in the last minute because she had much to lose if isolated.
Maybe India, too, will have to reconsider her present stance in view of the vast economic opportunities. India like America just cannot exclude herself from all the rest who are actively participating. BBIN was in a way a small effort by India to hinder China's 3 Continents trade and economic plan. Until recently India had American support but the Super Power has undergone a change of heart and now favours the Chinese land and maritime silk route ventures.
Participants from Europe, America and some international organisations have asked for more clarity and transparency. The President of China may have done just that in his addresses to over 1200 delegates including 29 Heads of State and Government attending the Conference .
America and Western European nations could be seeking opportunities for their own Corporations without actually making financial investment from their respective national coffers. However, China and her national companies are undertaking huge projects in many countries under this umbrella and building sea ports, airports, railways, roads, bridges and developing industrial zones. A major portion of investments in these giant development projects are funded by China. Most Asian and African nations are grateful to China for successfully taking up projects that other developed nations and international banks had refused to fund. Chinese Companies are reputed to execute huge projects within project time frame and with excellent quality. In that way both China and the host nations benefit.
So it is quite a different scenario from that of our own Indo- Bhutan hydro projects and especially not like the Chukka- Damchu 29 Km length bypass motor road under construction by the Indian national military wing DANTAK for almost a decade. Maybe that explains the absence of India and Bhutan at the Beijing conference. With the the kinds of delays and cost escalations that we are suffering in both motor roads and hydro projects, it is just not possible to stomach the goals of One Belt and One Road Initiatives that span across 3 Continents. Om Mani Pedmi Hung to that phobia.