China must pay attention to India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a top Chinese scholar said, adding that Beijing could not do much because of Pakistan’s unwillingness to sort out the issue….writes Gaurav Sharma
Wang Yiwei, Professor in the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, however, said it was “first and foremost” for China to help its “iron friend” Pakistan.
Wang also lamented that India was among the countries which attacked China’s Belt and Road Project.
“We must pay attention to India’s concerns about the CPEC. We are inviting India to take part in it,” Wang said in an interaction with journalists.
“We are ready to discuss it, but Pakistan is not willing to do that. The CPEC project goes through Pakistan’s region. This is what Pakistan tells us.”
However, Wang made clear China’s strong resolve to build the $46 billion CPEC, which goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. New Delhi claims the region as its own.
Calling it a great project with a strategic importance, Wang said: “China and Pakistan are iron friends. So first and foremost, we need to the help our iron friend.”
Wang said India need not worry and be suspicious over the multi-billion dollar project, which links China’s Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
CPEC is one of the six key corridors of the Chinese Belt and Road project, which envisages linking Asia with Europe.
India is opposed to the CPEC because the planned route passes through disputed Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
It’s because of this that India is unlikely to attend China’s Belt and Road conference in Beijing later this month.
China said heads of 28 states have confirmed their participation at the event.
CPEC has emerged as one of the sore points between India and China, who have a long-standing border dispute.
Last year at G-20 in China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping about India’s concerns about the corridor.