China’s statement on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
China has recently responded to India’s statement by describing its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as its biggest economic initiative, because India had recently opposed ‘CPEC’.
- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is China’s $ 60 billion project with Pakistan. India does not support this project because it passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region. China, while replying to India’s opposition, said that the project has never affected its principled stand on the Kashmir issue.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
- The China Pakistan Economic Corridor-CPEC is a part of China’s ambitious project OBOR (ONE BELT ONE ROAD).
- CPEC was officially announced by China in In the year 2017, China and Pakistan approved the plan to complete the plan of this economic corridor by 2023.
- Through this, China is trying to strengthen its access to the Gwadar port of the Arabian Sea.
- It is primarily a highway and infrastructure project that will connect China’s Kashgar province to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. The project was launched by China to rapidly develop the necessary infrastructure in Pakistan and strengthen its economy by building modern transport networks, energy projects and special economic zones.
- Under this project China will build many infrastructural sites in Pakistan such as ports, roads, pipelines, dozens of factories and airports.
India’s stand on CPEC
- India opposes the CPEC project, as the upgrading of the Karakoram highway is being done in Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed area between India and Pakistan.
- That is, ‘CPEC’ passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in India, while it is constitutionally a part of India. China has not taken any permission from India for the development of this corridor.
- Operation of an international project only by Pakistan’s permission on this disputed Pak Occupied Kashmir can lead to Pakistan’s ownership of ‘POK’ and internationalization of Kashmir issue, whereas India never wants it.
- It is China’s plan to secure and shorten its supply lines behind CPEC and Gwadar’s development, as well as strengthen its presence in the Indian Ocean. It can reduce India’s influence in the Indian Ocean by broadening China’s presence.
- CPEC may plan to strategically surround India, as CPEC provides completely free traffic to China.
- Apart from this, China can reach the western side of India with its weapons and army in any odd situation and pose a threat to Punjab and Rajasthan.
- Although it has been clarified on behalf of both China and Pakistan, the Gwadar port will be used only for economic purposes.
- But India has not yet agreed to this and India is concerned that China may establish a naval base at Gwadar to ensure its dominance in the Indian Ocean.
Source – The Hindu