‘China not to give up building CPEC through Azad Kashmir’

China will not give up building the economic corridor with Pakistan through Azad Kashmir simply because India has problems with it, state media said on Tuesday, indicating that New Delhi has no option but to keep an open mind towards the project.

In fact, the economic corridor project will help build infrastructure in Azad Kashmir and by building the same in Indian-controlled Kashmir would help the economic integration of the region.

The CPEC is not a zero-sum game where Pakistan gains and India loses. If economic cooperation between China and Pakistan can improve infrastructure in the region, including in the Kashmir area, India will have an opportunity to expand trade routes to Central Asia, the Global Times opined.

It said New Delhi may need to adopt an open attitude toward CPEC so the project can speed up development in the region and benefit the local population. Hopefully, India can also improve infrastructure in the regions bordering Pakistan to promote regional economic integration. Any way in which India can put aside politics and join in the task of economic development would be welcome.

Economic cooperation between India, Pakistan and China would create an open atmosphere for launching talks to solve the Kashmir dispute. In this regard, New Delhi may need to take the long view for its national interests, it said.

The ambitious project, which is part of President Xi Jinping’s grand Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), connects the Xinjiang Uyghur Region (XUR) with the Gwadar port in south-western Pakistan. Last week, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj repeated the objections with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their meeting in New Delhi.

But for sections of the media in China, like the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times, India’s objections clearly mean nothing – and possibly it echoes views within the decision-making sections of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

It is ‘regrettable’ to see that CPEC has become another ‘unharmonious’ factor in Sino-India ties, the newspaper said in an opinion piece on Tuesday.

But ‘unharmonious’ factor or no, China will continue with the project, the Global Time said, adding but China is unlikely to give up on the idea of CPEC because of India’s protest.


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