India, EU warn China against BRI projects violating sovereignty

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It is another matter that the Indian leadership has seen through the Chinese design…reports Asian Lite News

The European Union and India have now joined hands to prevent China from extending its Belt and Road Initiative connectivity projects through the territories of third countries, in gross violation of their sovereignty rights.

The construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is a glaring example of such high-handed behaviour of Beijing.

The Fourth Strategic Partnership Review Meeting between European Union and India in New Delhi on May 8, 2023, discussed the perspectives for a safer, prosperous and more democratic world.

“Both sides discussed cooperation in the sphere of connectivity and emphasised that connectivity projects respect sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a joint Press release issued after the meeting.

India has repeatedly registered its protests over the CPEC, the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative of China; saying the construction of the road violates the sovereignty of India as it passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan area of PoK, an Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan.

India protested in May, 2021, when China said it was planning to extend its CPEC to Afghanistan.

China has disregarded India’s protests and sovereignty concerns. Paying scant regard to Indian interests, on May 9, 2023, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan formally agreed to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan.

In fact, the visit of Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang to New Delhi and Islamabad in the first week of May is an evidence of the cynic and treacherous nature of the current Chinese leadership.

In New Delhi, the Chinese Foreign Minister tried to cajole the Indian leadership to normalise the Sino-Indian relations, while forgetting the issue of illegal occupation by China of large chunks of disputed territories on the India-China border; in eastern Ladakh and other places.

It is another matter that the Indian leadership has seen through the Chinese design.

On May 12, addressing the Sixth edition of the Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka, Foreign Minister of India S. Jaishankar said that one could not trust a nation that disregarded legal obligations and violated long-standing agreements.

From New Delhi, however, Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang flew directly to Islamabad and at the 5th China – Afghanistan – Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue decided on extending the CPEC to Afghanistan, knowing that this move would perpetuate the illegal occupation of Indian territories in Kashmir by Pakistan.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting on May 6, the three sides reaffirmed “their commitment to further trilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and to jointly extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan”.

It seems, however, that the Chinese leadership has failed to read the writing on the wall that the Common people of Pakistan are not accepting the BRI projects that are not bringing any benefit for them and are wholly in the interest of China.

Within days of the visit of Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang to Pakistan and the decision to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan, on May 11 Chinese nationals working in a shipyard in the port city of Karachi in Pakistan had a providential escape as a suspected suicide bomber was killed and a deadly attack on Chinese nationals was foiled by security forces.

This is not the first time, however, that Chinese nationals working in BRI and other projects in Pakistan have faced lethal attacks.

In April 2022, a female suicide bomber carried out an attack on a van carrying three Chinese teachers at Karachi University.

Earlier in July 2021, nine Chinese engineers were killed in an explosion in a bus at Dasu hydropower plant.

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