China has invited India to be part of its new initiative to build a Maritime Silk Road which it says is aimed at improving connectivity and trade among Asian nations through the sea on the lines of ancient Silk Route.
The invitation for India to join the Martime Silk Road was extended during the just concluded 17th round of border talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries in New Delhi.
China's Special Representative Yang Jiechi has conveyed Beijing's wish in this regard to his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon, a Chinese official said.
India's response was the positive, the official added.
Sri Lanka has already conveyed its willingness to back the initiative to build MSR during the just concluded visit of its Foreign Minister G L Peiris here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media.
Elaborating on the MSR, she said it was still an idea in making.
"This initiative is just an idea for cooperation. It is an open ended platform. The purpose is to integrate all kinds of ongoing cooperation especially cooperation on connectivity in the spirit of (ancient) silk road so that they can connect with each other and promote each other and accelerate regional countries' common development," she said.
"In this end China adopts an open attitude. We also hope to see good suggestions from other countries so as to substantiate this idea," she said.
The MSR was mooted last year with countries of Southeast Asia by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Indonesia and Malaysia where he stated that the MSR would help turn the "Golden Decade" between China and Southeast Asian Countries into "Diamond Decade".
Simultaneously, China also worked to revive the ancient Silk Route which existed 2,000 years to with a host of Central Asian states.
Besides MSR, China has proposed the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar corridor to improve trade and businesses among all the four countries.