Military dimension of China-Pak corridor concerns India

Military dimension of China-Pak corridor concerns India

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. PTI (file photo)

The thaw in New Delhi's relations with Beijing notwithstanding; India has been worried over China's growing defence cooperation with Pakistan and of late conveyed its concerns to the communist country.

India has since long been concerned over Belt-and-Road initiative of China and protesting against its flagship component China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). What however added to New Delhi's concerns are moves to add a military dimension to Beijing-Islamabad cooperation on the Chinese President Xi Jinping ambitious $ One Trillion cross-continental connectivity initiative.

The New York Times recently reported that Beijing and Islamabad were working on a proposal for China to use a Special Economic Zone set up in Pakistan as part of the CPEC to produce fighter aircraft as well as other weaponry and military hardware.

Sources in New Delhi told the DH that if what New York Times had reported were proved to be based on facts, it would just confirm what India had since long been suspecting about China's real intentions behind working with Pakistan on the CPEC.

New Delhi has been conveying Beijing its concerns over China's plan to take its cooperation with Pakistan on the BRI.

The New York Times published the report on December 19 – just two days before External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi in New Delhi. Swaraj and Wang launched a new framework for cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Wang also called on President Ram Nath Kovind, who underscored that “due consideration to each other’s concerns, aspirations and sensitivities” was important for further strengthening of bilateral relations between India and China.

Sources said that New Delhi had been routinely sharing with Beijing its view over the CPEC, which passed through the areas of Jammu and Kashmir which India had been claiming to be its own and accusing Pakistan of illegally occupying.