India has slammed China and Pakistan for seeking participation of third countries in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
- Recently, in July 2022, the 3rd meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group (JWG) on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC) was held in virtual mode.
- During the meeting, both China and Pakistan expressed their interest in inviting other countries to make investments in the project.
- Although, it has not been officially revealed who might be investing in the project, analysts believe that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Germany might come on board.
- Soon after coming to power in Afghanistan last year, the Taliban had expressed desire to join the infrastructure project.
How did India respond?
- India opposed the move by saying that the project passes through illegally occupied Indian Territory and such a move will be illegal and unacceptable.
- Time and again, India has protested to China over the CPEC as it is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK).
- As per India, the initiatives of the connectivity must be based on the universally accepted and the other recognised international norms, transparency and equality, rule of law and must respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity.
About CPEC –
- During an April 2015 visit to Islamabad, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif unveiled the $46 billion CPEC.
- CPEC quickly ballooned to $62 billion in pledges—one-fifth of Pakistan’s GDP—covering dozens of envisioned high-profile projects.
- The corridor links Xinjiang with Gwadar, and also passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where China is investing in a number of projects.
- Often described as a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the stated goal of CPEC is:
- to transform Pakistan’s economy by modernising its road, rail, air, and energy transportation systems;
- to connect the deep-sea Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi to China’s Xinjiang province and beyond by overland routes.
India’s concerns about CPEC –
- CPEC: Threat to Sovereignty of India —
- It passes through Gilgit-Baltistan area of Kashmir which is occupied by Pakistan. The corridor enters into Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass.
- This area is a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and claimed by India.
- India believes that CPEC violates the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of India.
- CPEC and Security threat to India —
- Ever since the construction of the corridor is started, the Chinese military presence in the area is also embarked.
- In 2017, Chinese troops marched in the parade of Pakistan’s day in Islamabad.
- This was the first time when Chinese military took part in any parade outside its country
- Apart from the naval vessels deployed in Pakistan, eight submarines are also delivered to it by China.
- China is planning to build its second naval base in Gwadar port after Djibouti in 2017.