Respect sovereignty, India tells China

Asserting its territorial sovereignty, India said on Wednesday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through its territory.

Addressing the Raisina Dialogue, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said China was yet to respond to India’s concerns on CPEC.

‘No sign of reflection’

“China is very sensitive on matters concerning its sovereignty.

“We expect they will respect other people’s sovereignty. CPEC passes through a territory that we see as ours. Surely people will understand India’s reaction. There needs to be some reflection and I am sorry to say that we have not seen signs of that,” said Mr. Jaishankar at the event that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

Mr. Modi too had drawn attention to the territorial sovereignty of India.

“Respect for sovereignty is important for regional connectivity to improve,” Mr. Modi said in his inaugural speech.

‘India, China can help each other’

In his address Mr. Jaishankar raised India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

China and Pakistan have fast-tracked the construction work of the CPEC, a large part of which passes through PoK. Once completed, the CPEC will provide an all-weather energy route for China from the Gulf.

India’s concerns have also increased in recent weeks with reports of China-Pakistan naval cooperation in Gwadar port of Balochistan, which will serve as the entry point to CPEC.

The Foreign Secretary said that China’s rise was a major “dynamic” factor in the Asian affairs and reminded the audience that differences with China had not gone away.

“With China, the overall broadening of ties, especially in business and people-to-people contacts, has been overshadowed by differences on certain political issues,” said Mr. Jaishankar.

“But it is important for the two countries not to lose sight of the strategic nature of their engagement or falter in their conviction that their rise can be mutually supportive.”

Differences with China

The Foreign Secretary’s comments about CPEC and the “political issues” are significant as both India and China have dealt with the differences over the last several months.

It had left a shadow, especially in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) where India’s membership bid was scuttled by China in the year 2016. China’s territorial assertion over Asia, however, received a jolt in July 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration gave an adverse verdict on the South China Sea issue.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:29:11 AM |

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