Wednesday, 18 October 2017

U.S. backs India, says CPEC passes through disputed territory, Pakistan, China strongly reject US doubts

cpec

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD/BEIJING: He asked the global community to focus on human rights violations and heinous crimes committed by Indian forces in Indian-held Kashmir.

Pakistan and China have rejected objections raised by the USA over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is backed by the United Nations.

Mattis in his statement had said that the Belt and Road Initiative “also goes through the disputed territory and that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate”. The $56 billion CPEC passes through Pakistan’s northern areas, which India claims is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory.

“Over the years, Islamabad has made active efforts to combat terrorism and made huge sacrifices”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a written response to a question from Press Trust of India about Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford’s remarks.

The Trump administration has claimed that the multi-billion Dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passed through a disputed territory, an allegation originally hurled by Pakistan’s regional rival India. In a globalised world, there were many belts and many roads and no nation should dictate One Belt, One Road project, he added.

Over 130 countries and more than 70 global organisations sent representatives to attend the worldwide cooperation summit – Belt Road Forum, organised by China in May and spoke highly of the initiative.

Pakistan and China have rejected objections raised by the US over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is backed by the United Nations.

In a statement issued in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a development and connectivity project for the betterment of the people in the region and beyond. He asked the international community to focus on human rights violations and heinous crimes committed by Indian forces in Indian-held Kashmir.

He said that efforts need to be made to implement the historic UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu Kashmir, that call for a UN-supervised plebiscite to enable Kashmiri people to exercise their basic right – the right to self-determination.

“We have repeatedly reiterated that CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative that is not directed against third parties and has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes and does not affect China’s principled stance on the Kashmir issue,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued in Beijing.

Over 70 countries and international organisations which had signed cooperation agreements with China on OBOR, including the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, have incorporated it in their important resolutions, the ministry said.

Over 130 countries and more than 70 international organisations sent representatives to attend the international cooperation summit – Belt Road Forum, organised by China in May and spoke highly of the initiative. “This fully explains that the OBOR initiative is in line with the trend of the times and conforms to the rules of development and is in line with the interests of the people and has broad and bright prospect for development,” it said.

“The One Belt One Road also goes through ‘disputed’ territory, and I think that in itself shows the ‘vulnerability’ of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” US Defence Secretary James Mattis said while briefing the US lawmakers on the current situation in the Pak-Afghan region earlier this week.

Earlier, this claim had been made by India with the view to thwart the multi-billion dollar project that will link Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways. “We opposed the One Belt One Road policy in principle because no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating One Belt One Road,” Mattis said.

“And it opposed the one going through Pakistan also because it passed through a ‘disputed’ territory,” he said, adding that common grounds should be found with China to thwart terrorism. The US stance on CPEC could further strain relations between Pakistan and the US, especially after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of providing ‘safe harbour’ to militants in his August speech.

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