‘CPEC Violates India’s Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity’

New Delhi—Reacting To China’s assertion that CPEC Connectivity Project “does not involve Kashmir dispute”, India Thursday said its stand on the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is “principled” and “consistent”.

“As regards the so called CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), it is also well known that it violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

China on Wednesday said India’s stand on its BRI is wavering, and the CPEC, a part of the project, does not involve any territorial dispute as claimed by New Delhi.

China has been reiterating that the USD 50 billion CPEC which traverses through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a connectivity project and will not affect its stand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan through talks.

India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the disputed territory and boycotted a high-profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China in May.

Kumar said India will always be open to any efforts which will address its legitimate concerns in this regard.

India also rejected China’s objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharamans visit to Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are as much free to go there as to any other state.

“Arunachal Pradesh is integral part of India and Indian leaders have that much freedom to visit Arunachal as they have in visiting other states in the country,” Kumar said.

To a question on next round of talks between Special Representatives of India and China on the boundary question, Kumar said both sides are in touch with each other.

“We do not have any confirmed dates for talks as yet. The two sides are in touch. Once we have some dates for it, we will let you know,” he said during a media briefing.

On Monday, China had objected to Sitharamans first visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday and Sunday, saying her tour of the “disputed area” was not conducive to peace in the region.

During her trip to the state, Sitharaman also visited forward army posts in the remote Anjaw district bordering China to take stock of defence preparedness.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet and routinely objects to top Indian official’s visits to the area.

Kashmir Integral, inalienable Part Of India: VP

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu Thursday said that Kashmir is an inalienable and integral part of India.

He was interacting with the Members of British Parliament, Mr. Dan Carden, Ms. Anna McMorrin, Ms. Preet Gill and Ms. Sarah Champion, who called on him, in New Delhi on Thursday. The Foreign Secretary of India, Dr. S Jaishankar was also present on the occasion. 

The Vice President conveyed his strong concerns that there was considerable misinformation about Kashmir. He said that it was purely a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. He further said that radicalization and terror are global issues to which we have to find an effective strategy to combat it at various levels.

The Vice President said that the bilateral cooperation between India and UK has reached a new high in the areas of economics and commerce, science and technology, defence, education, cyber policy, counter terrorism, sharing of intelligence. He further said that our bilateral trade at just about US$ 12.19 billion has a large potential for growth. India is the 3rd largest investor in the UK and the 2nd largest international job creator in the UK, he added.

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