Beijing could look into Delhi’s request to rename the China Pakistan Economic Corridor that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui said on Monday. He said the CPEC was meant for promoting and improving economic cooperation and connectivity. He made the statements at the United Service Institution of India in Delhi.

Luo insisted that China would not meddle with the sovereignty disputes between India and Pakistan. “It [CPEC] has no connections to or impact on sovereignty issues,” he said. “Even we can think about renaming the CPEC. China and India have had successful experience of delinking sovereignty disputes with bilateral relations before. China is sincere in its intention to cooperate with India on the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, as it is good for both of us.”

He also said Delhi was 13 years behind Beijing in terms of development as the lack of a favourable environment and policies has hampered India’s Gross Domestic Product, reported ANI.

“Now the GDP of India is roughly that of China in 2004, some 13 years ago,” Luo said. “China leads India by 13 years mainly because we started reform and opening-up 13 years earlier.”

He commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives such as “Make in India, “Digital India”, and “Smart Cities”. “We need to synergise our development strategies and pursue common development,” he said.

The senior bureaucrat said the One Belt One Road Initiative and regional connectivity could help the two countries improve bilateral ties. “The OBOR is a major public product China has offered to the world,” he said. “It is a strategic initiative aimed at promoting globalisation and economic integration.”

Luo said China was willing to explore the possibility of linking the OBOR with India’s “Act East Policy”.