India warns countries against joining ‘illegal’ CPEC

New Delhi: India slammed China and Pakistan for their efforts to encourage third countries to join projects relating to their multi-billion dollar connectivity corridor that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In a sharp reaction, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said such activities under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are “inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable”, and will be treated accordingly by India.

New Delhi has consistently been critical of projects in the so-called CPEC projects which are in India’s territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.” At a meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group (JWG) on International Cooperation and Coordination, Pakistan and China decided to welcome interested third countries to join the flagship CPEC initiative.

“We have seen reports on encouraging 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,” Bagchi said.

“India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan,” he said.

“Such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate, and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India,” he added.

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.

India’s stand shows its ‘insecurity’: Pakistan

Pakistan has termed as “baseless and misguided” India’s stand on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying attempts to cast aspersions over the multi-billion dollar connectivity corridor show New Delhi’s “insecurity and pursuit of a hegemonic agenda.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Office in a statement termed India’s comments as “baseless and misguided” and an effort to politicize the CPEC. It said that “the CPEC is a transformational project and a harbinger of stability, mutual cooperation and shared development for the region.”

“Attempts to cast aspersions over CPEC show India’s insecurity as well as the pursuit of a hegemonic agenda that has held back socio-economic development in South Asia for decades,” the foreign office added.

Image courtesy of (Photo: TSAT file)

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