‘illegitimate and illegal’: India slams move by Pak, China to involve third countries in CPEC projects
India on Tuesday strongly opposed China and Pakistan inviting other countries to participate in their economic corridor that passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), which is claimed by India since 1947 and termed it as “illegitimate and illegal.” “We have seen reports on encouraging proposed participation of third countries in so-called CPEC projects. Any such actions by any party directly infringe on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. Such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate, and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, strongly reacting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),
India has all along protested against projects in the so-called CPEC projects which are in India’s territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. The latest reaction by India after a July 21 meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group (JWG) on International Cooperation and Coordination where Pakistan and China decided to welcome interested third countries to join the flagship CPEC initiative.
The CPEC was launched in 2013 to improve Pakistan’s road, rail and energy transportation infrastructure besides connecting its deep-sea port of Gwadar with China’s Xinjiang province. The CPEC is part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). During the virtual meeting co-chaired by Pakistan’s foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood and China’s assistant foreign minister Wu Jianghao, both the countries sought the participation of “interested third parties” in mutually beneficial cooperation opened up by the economic corridor.
China and Pakistan described the economic corridor as “an open and inclusive platform”, and “welcomed interested third parties to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened up by CPEC,” according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office. The meeting reviewed the implementation of the CPEC and its “expansion to jointly agreed on priority areas”. Mahmood emphasized the centrality of the “time-tested Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in Islamabad’s foreign policy and said the “vitality and dynamism of CPEC reflected the deep-seated mutual goodwill that lay at the heart of the bilateral relationship”.
The two sides agreed that CPEC’s development has reached a “new point, with increasing emphasis on high-quality development of industry, agriculture, IT, and science and technology”, and has also “broken new ground in strengthening international and regional connectivity, especially in the context of its extension to Afghanistan”. The CPEC was launched as a flagship venture under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In the last interview with Lt Gen Ravi Shankar last Saturday, he mentioned how World Bank refused to give a loan to Pak for constructing a dam in the disputed area (video given below).
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