Irrelevant to link OBOR with India-Pak issue: China's Consul General

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 19, 2017

"We have expressed our position on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media in Bejing when asked whether China plans to rename the corridor as proposed by its envoy to New Delhi. Similarly, India is also playing a central role in efforts to encircle China but despite all this the Chinese President Xi Jinping categorically stated that their vision of OBOR is not aimed at encircling any country, rather it is meant for peace, progress and development.

"We keep saying that the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative. So I think in this way the concerns from the Indian side should be addressed", she said.

India too was invited and there was a clear sentiment in that country not to miss the opportunity but Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided against participating in the purely economic platform because of his government's jaundiced opinion about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and thereby isolated his country.

The first principle of Panchsheel enunciated by India and China in 1954 speaks of "mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty".

Separately, a speech by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during the Asian Prime Ministers Conference in Colombo had also cited Panchsheel as the touchstone of peaceful global relations.

India even skipped China's high-profile Belt and Road Forum last week.

Sharif said the CPEC was a key regional initiative for connectivity and shared prosperity of nations, adding it also had the potential of bringing improvement in the lives of people, with projects related to energy, road and rail infrastructure, industrial parks and economic zones.

Beijing invested in the CPEC despite India's objections with an eventual aim of interfering in the Kashmir issue under the name of "protecting its investments". "It was not finalised so we still look forward to her visit to China in coming months and if not this year then next year", Zhanwu said.Mamata is scheduled to visit China next month.

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