MUMBAI, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The sky and ocean of Asia are big enough for the dragon and elephant (China and India) to dance together, which will bring a true Asian Age, a senior Chinese diplomat said.
Delivering a speech titled "'Belt and Road': Sharing Opportunities" Friday, Liu Jinsong, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese Embassy in India, said India is a country with distinctive character and China always respects India's independent diplomatic choices.
"China is willing to discuss all problems and possibilities with India on the basis of mutual benefits, " Liu told a seminar organized by India's Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai on the Belt and Road Initiative.
"The Belt and Road Initiative will benefit South Asian countries, including India, in the long run," he said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road were proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
Liu said the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were aimed at promoting economic cooperation and connectivity.
"The CPEC is open, transparent, market-driven and international, in compliance with economic logic and legal procedures," he noted.
In an opening speech at the seminar, a renowned Indian scholar urged India to participate in the Belt and Roat Initiative for the interest of India and its neighboring countries.
Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of ORF Mumbai, said the Belt and Road Initiative provided an opportunity for win-win cooperation between India and China, which is both trust-promoting and development-promoting.
"We are firmly of the view that India should participate in the Belt and Road Initiative for our own benefit and for the benefit of our neighbors," Kulkarni said.
"Isolation does not help India, " he added.
He also urged India to "welcome and support" the CPEC as "it has the potential to contribute hugely to Pakistan's development and prosperity."
The ORF, a leading non-profit and independent public policy think tank, conducts research and advocacy in a wide range of domestic and international issues.
India's former national security advisor and former foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, Consul-General of China in Mumbai Zheng Xiyuan, scholars, business and media representatives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myarmar and Sri Lanka attended the seminar.