Ready for talks with India on differences over corridor with Pakistan: China
India has repeatedly objected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Updated: Jan 29, 2018 19:54 IST
China said on Monday it is ready to discuss India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which New Delhi has opposed because it passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The CPEC is a flagship venture of China’s multi-billion dollar connectivity project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China’s statement came in response to Indian ambassador Gautam Bambawale’s remarks during an interview with Global Times, a state-run English tabloid, that the CPEC is a major problem that must not be pushed under the carpet.
“Regarding the CPEC, China has reiterated its position. As to the differences between China and India, China stands ready to communicate and talk with India to seek a proper solution so that these differences don’t affect our general national interests,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing.
“This best serves the interests of the two countries,” she said.
Hua reiterated that the multi-billion dollar CPEC is “merely an economic cooperation” project and not aimed at India.
The CPEC will connect Kashgar in northwestern China with Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan through a network of roads, railway lines, oil and gas pipelines and a fibre-optic cable. Chinese firms are also building a wide array of projects, including power plants and manufacturing units, along the route of the corridor.
India has repeatedly raised its concerns about the project with China as a key section of the corridor passes through PoK.
Asked how China will address India’s concerns over territorial sovereignty, Hua said: “As to any differences arising between the two countries, it calls for sincerity and mutual respect for these parties to seek a proper solution and management of differences.
“We should not just ask one party alone to solve this problem, and as I said we are willing to work with the Indian side through dialogue and communication for a better solution.”
Hua added, “The CPEC is merely an economic cooperation project, it is not targeted at any third party. We hope the Indian side can put this in perspective.”
Beijing had said earlier the dispute over Kashmir was an issue between India and Pakistan and the BRI will not change China’s position on the matter.
First Published: Jan 29, 2018 13:59 IST