India continues to oppose China-Pak economic corridor

 India on Wednesday rejected calls for dropping its opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), pointing out that the proposed project would infringe on its sovereignty.

New Delhi not only dismissed proposals from Beijing and Islamabad for it to join CPEC, but also conveyed to Beijing that it expected the communist country to be sensitive towards India’s sovereignty.

“China is a country which is very sensitive to matters concerning its sovereignty. So we expected that it would have some understanding of other people’s sensitivity about their sovereignty,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said in response to a question at the second Raisina Dialogue here.

The proposed CPEC will link Kashgar in Xinjiang in north-western China and a deep sea port at Gwadar in Balochistan in south-western Pakistan. Beijing is planning to spend over $46 billion on a series of infrastructure projects along the proposed corridor.

New Delhi has been opposing CPEC, as the proposed economic corridor would pass through areas which India has been accusing Pakistan of illegally occupying in Kashmir.

“The CPEC passes through an area that we see as territory of India and illegally occupied by Pakistan,” said Jaishankar. He pointed out that China had not consulted India before initiating the project with Pakistan and hence the strong reaction from New Delhi was on expected lines.

“There needs to be some reflection (by China on the issue of sovereignty of India) and I am sorry to say that we have not yet seen signs of that,” added Jaishankar.

New Delhi had earlier lodged its protest against CPEC with Pakistan and China. India has also formally lodged a protest against the project at the United Nations.

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