Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is in China attending the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) organised in Beijing, China from 13 to 16 October 2015. He spoke in the Conference, organised under the theme ‘One Belt-One Road Initiative’.


Appreciating this initiative, “One Belt, One Road”, aimed at reviving the ancient `Silk Road’ that promoted civilisational confluences, flourishing commerce and trade, Sitaram said that “Once realized, this initiative, should realize the inherent potential of all the peoples and countries that will be part of this.  This will greatly enhance `multi-polarity’ in a world being driven towards uni-polarity”.


In addition to presenting the CPI(M)’s observations, Yechury made the following two points:


1)    The mirror image of the `Silk Road’ on the seas is what we, in India, call the `spice route’.  A maritime route that extended from Canton (Guangzhou)  through the Mallaca Straits, India-Sri Lanka onwards to the Arab lands and further on to Alexandria, Florence  and then to the Caliphate in Istanbul, also, the capital of the Roman Empire, Constantinople.  The `One Road, One Belt’ concept  cannot comprehensively realize the inherent potential  of this region unless this Maritime `Spice Route’ is simultaneously revived. India and China have a mutually beneficial project at hand.


2)    An unfortunate reference has been made to the Kashmir dispute here by the Pakistani delegation (Mr. Bilawal Bhutto). Kashmir is a `bilateral issue’ to be resolved between India and Pakistan, as universally recognized and accepted. It is best to leave this issue to be resolved between India and Pakistan. Raising it in international fora can only complicate  matters rather than help resolving it.