(TibetanReview.net, Jun03, 2015) – China has made it clear on Jun 2 that it was committed to the construction of the 3,000-km, $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) despite objections from India that it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The CPEC will “not target any third party”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying, a day after India reaffirmed its objections to the project.
The corridor, running from Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea to Chinese ruled western Xinjiang region, was launched in Apr 2015 during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad despite strong objections from India. The Indian government had also summoned the Chinese envoy to lodge its protest.
Sartaj Aziz, foreign affairs and national security adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has said May 31 that Pakistan’s “enemies” would not succeed in sabotaging the PCEC.
Hua has said the PCEC will not affect China’s stand on the Kashmir issue. “As for the Kashmir region, it is an issue between Pakistan and India. This issue should be properly resolved through negotiations and consultations by India and Pakistan,” she was quoted as saying.
“Relevant cooperation carried by China in the relevant region will not target any third party and will not affect China’s position on the relevant issue,” she has added.
She has also sought to reassure New Delhi, saying, “The Chinese side is ready to make joint efforts with the Indian side to enhance political and strategic mutual trust and push forward the China-India cooperative partnership for prosperity.”
India, however, is also concerned about the strategic implications of the infrastructure created for the corridor passing through the Kashmir region as it could be used for military purposes by China and Pakistan.