India

Third parties joining CPEC is inherently illegal, unacceptable: India

A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan. The CPEC was launched in 2013 to improve Pakistan’s road, rail and energy transportation infrastructure besides connecting its deep-sea port of Gwadar with China’s Xinjiang province. File photo

A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan. The CPEC was launched in 2013 to improve Pakistan’s road, rail and energy transportation infrastructure besides connecting its deep-sea port of Gwadar with China’s Xinjiang province. File photo | Photo Credit: Reuters

Days after China and Pakistan held a meeting to bring other countries into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), India on Tuesday said that efforts to broaden CPEC's scope are "inherently illegal".

"We have seen reports on encouraging a proposed participation of third countries in so called CPEC projects. Any such actions by any party directly infringe on India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan," said Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Joint Working Group of International Cooperation and Coordination under CPEC met on July 21, when the Pakistani and Chinese officials discussed bringing in a third county into the fold.

CPEC consists of a number of infrastructure projects that are under construction across Pakistan and is aimed at connecting China overland with the Gulf countries by cutting through the Himalayan range in Gilgit Baltistan and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Soon after coming to power in Afghanistan last year, the Taliban leadership had expressed desire to join the infrastructure project.

Mr. Bagchi reminded Taliban and similar potential third parties of the problems associated with the CPEC, saying, "Such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India."

The Chinese activities in the PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, too, have been in focus because of the upcoming G20 summit in 2023, which will be celebrated by India through a series of events across the country. Officials here have not yet clarified if some of these events would be held in Jammu and Kashmir. Chinese State media had earlier this month joined Pakistan in opposing India hosting G20-related events in Kashmir.

Mr. Bagchi's comment on Tuesday is part of a series of similar remarks from India in the past few days, highlighting the importance of PoK in the Indian scheme of things.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh referred to the Sharda temple in PoK on Sunday and said the region is an "integral" part of India.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2022 12:32:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-slams-move-by-pak-china-to-involve-third-countries-in-cpec-projects/article65684296.ece