China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Indian territory, illegally occupied by Pakistan

India has slammed China and Pakistan for encouraging participation of third countries in the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.

“We have seen reports encouraging a proposed participation of third countries in so-called CPEC projects. Any such actions by any party directly infringe on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries on Tuesday.

At the third meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC) held in a virtual format on July 22 and co-chaired by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao, both sides reviewed the continued implementation of the CPEC and its expansion to the jointly agreed priority areas.

At this meeting both sides decided to welcome interested third countries joining the multi-billion dollar CPEC, saying it was an open and inclusive platform for mutually beneficial cooperation.

“As an open and inclusive platform, both sides welcomed interested third parties to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened up by CPEC,” Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement released last week.

Taking a strong exception to such decisions, the MEA Spokesperson said, “India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.”

The MEA Spokesperson further said that such activities under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor are “inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India.”

Formally launched on April 20, 2015, the CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea with Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang province.