New Delhi (Sputnik): China has sought to delink the contentious economic corridor it is building through Gilgit Baltistan, a territory currently administered by Pakistan but claimed by India as its own, from Sino-Indian ties. The BRI has become a major irritant in Sino-Indian ties since it was unveiled in 2013. India has kept itself away from the project as a mark of disproval of China’s apparent recognition of Gilgit-Baltistan as Pakistani territory by inking a deal with Pakistan for building the economic corridor. The Chinese official also referred to three meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping since April in the context of improved bilateral relations. “There is a fresh impetus in bilateral ties,” Zhang added. A professor and commentator on International Affairs opined that the statement must be looked upon as changing the perception of China with regard to the need for Indian participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The views and opinions expressed by Dr. Sawarn Singh in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.