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China says CPEC has ‘no direct link’ with Kashmir issue

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asserted that the purpose of the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was economic.

By: PTI | Beijing |
Updated: April 18, 2017 1:02:17 pm
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China on Monday sought to allay India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying it has “no direct link” with the Kashmir issue and New Delhi was welcome to participate in the ‘One Belt One Road’ project. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at press conference on the One belt One Road (OBOR) summit to be held here from May 14-15, said, “Although (an) Indian leader will not be here but India will have a representative” at the OBOR summit.

“We welcome (the) Indian representative, members of the Indian business community and financial community to take part in the discussions at the summit,” Wang said. 28 Presidents and Prime Ministers were expected to take part in the summit, he said. “OBOR is for common development of all participants. So we welcome India to take active part in building the OBOR,” he said.

Wang asserted that the purpose of the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was economic. “It is for the purpose of serving economic cooperation and development,” he said. “It has no direct link with political and boundary dispute. Certain sections of the CPEC have raised concern on the Indian side,” Wang said.

These disputes are not the direct result of the economic corridor and economic activities. China has been providing support to Pakistan in these areas for many years, Wang said. “As for the dispute of Kashmir, China’s position remained unchanged. Also, CPEC has no relationship with the dispute in certain regions. I want to reaffirm to the Indian friend if India wants to take part in the OBOR, there are many channels and ways,” the Chinese Foreign Minister said.

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China has taken note of India’s participation in the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) which is part of OBOR, he said. “We have taken note of India’s positive attitude on this,” Wang said. India has reservations over OBOR as the CPEC is part of it and passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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