Describing India as a “leading global power” in its newly unveiled National Security Strategy, the Trump administration said it will deepen US’ strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in maintaining security in the Indo-Pacific region.The 68-page document said the US will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia and India. “We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner,” said the National Security Strategy unveiled by President Donald Trump yesterday. “We will expand our defence and security cooperation with India, a Major Defence Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region,” the NSS said, noting that its vision for Indo-Pacific excludes no nation.India-US defence relationship was mentioned in the context of Indo-Pacific region, whereas it gave a very prominent role to India in South and Central Asia. “We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region,” according to the NSS which the White House said sets a positive strategic direction for the US that will restore America’s advantages in the world and build upon its strengths.Also readAfter quad; India, Australia hold first meet on strategic, defence ties With an eye on China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the US administration said it will help South Asian countries “maintain their sovereignty” as China increases its influence in the region. “We will help South Asian nations maintain their sovereignty as China increases its influence in the region,” it said.The recent Chinese move in Sri Lanka and Maldives is seen as an effort on their part to encroach eat on their sovereignty with similar fears in Pakistan. India has objected to CPEC as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The US, it said, continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan.US interests in the region include countering terrorist threats that impact the security of the US homeland and its allies, preventing cross-border terrorism that raises the prospect of military and nuclear tensions, and preventing nuclear weapons, technology, and materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, it said.
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A week after a proposal by Chinese envoy to India to rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to address New Delhi’s concerns, Beijing has hinted that it mayn rename CPEC if India joins OBOR initiative.China’s ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui during an interaction with experts on Chinese affairs and students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) last week offered to rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as build an alternative corridor through Jammu and Kashmir.However, On Lu’s reported remark about building an alternative corridor through Jammu and Kashmir, the foreign ministry said, “China is ready to strengthen connectivity with all neighbouring countries and promote regional economic cooperation and common prosperity”.According to The Times of India, the Chinese ministry neither endorsed or denied Luo’s statement, indicating that it may be willing to discuss the issue with New Delhi while ensuring that the move does not affect its ties with Pakistan.The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said China s stand is that the CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative and has ‘nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes’. The CPEC “does not affect China and Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir issue,” it said.India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in May this year due to its sovereignty concerns over the nearly $ 60 billion CPEC, a flagship project of China’s prestigious One Belt One Road (OBOR), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).India has raised concerns over the project as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.In his address to the United Services Institution in New Delhi on May 5, Luo Zhaohui had echoed similar views.His remarks were, however, subsequently removed from the transcript of his address posted on the website of the Chinese Embassy amid reports that Pakistan sought a clarification on it.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China today said India’s stand on its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is wavering, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a part of the project, does not involve any territorial dispute as claimed by New Delhi.China has been reiterating that the US$ 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. Reacting to a question on Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev’s comments yesterday that India and China should resolve differences over the project, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said since this question is being asked repeatedly by the Indian media, “it shows India is quite wavering” over the BRI.Hua also said, the CPEC does not involve any territorial dispute. “The BRI will bring benefits to more countries along the BRI. We also said many times that the CPEC is an economic cooperation not targeted at any third party and does not involve territorial disputes,” Hua said. “We hope that countries and parties with shared vision will work with us to allow the practical cooperation to bring more benefits to our people. We remain open and inclusive to cooperation involving BRI,” she said. Her comments as well as that of the remarks by Kudashev came ahead of the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting expected to be held next month in New Delhi.”The BRI will bring benefits to more countries along the BRI. We also said many CPEC corridor is an economic cooperation not targeted any third party and does not involve territorial dispute,” Hua said. Since the BRI was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, its progress was smooth. “It has won the widespread support from the international community and increasing number of countries have engaged in it,” she said.The recently concluded once-in-a-five-year Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) included the BRI in its constitution. “We believe that the BRI will create more room for China s opening up and development and present more opportunities for global economic development,” she said.
China today reacted cautiously over a proposal by the Trump administration for a working-level quadrilateral meeting with India, Japan and Australia, saying Beijing hopes that it would not target or damage a “third party’s interest”. The US was looking at a “working-level” quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia and offer countries in the Indo-Pacific region an alternative to predatory financing or unsustainable debt, the State Department had said last month. The proposal was, however, seen by China as an attempt to counter its influence in the region. Reacting to it, the Chinese Foreign Ministry hoped that such an arrangement will promote mutual trust among countries in the region and not harm its interest.”China hopes the collaboration among relevant countries could comply with the trend of times, which refers to peace, development, and cooperation and shared benefits, and also conform to the prospects of the regions and nations for common security and development,” the ministry said in a written response to a query from PTI here. “We hope it would be beneficial for improving the mutual trust among countries and regions, at the same time safeguarding and promoting peace, tranquillity, and prosperity within the area, without targeting or damaging a third party’s interest,” it said.State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells had said: “As we explore ways to deepen and try to inculcate some of the values -? freedom of navigation, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, transparency -? obviously, Australia would be a natural partner in that effort as well”. The freedom of navigation is mostly referred to unhindered movement of ships and flights in the disputed South China Sea as China claims most of the busy trade route through which goods worth over USD 5.3 trillion pass every year. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the resource-rich area.The US has been periodically sending naval ships and planes to assert the freedom of navigation, much to the chagrin of China.Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said earlier that Tokyo would propose a “top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia” to promote free trade and defence cooperation across the Indian Ocean. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to bring up the same issue during his meeting with US President Donald Trump who is currently visiting Tokyo.The US President would arrive in Beijing on a three-day visit from November 8. Besides the proposed grouping, President Xi Jinping is expected to discuss with Trump, America’s new South Asia policy piling up pressure on China’s close ally Pakistan over terror safe heavens and Japan’s proposal to jointly work out an alternative Silk Road plan with the US and India to counter China’s multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which includes USD 50 billion CPEC.India has opposed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it traversed through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The quadrilateral idea has drawn criticism from sate-run Chinese media. Although Wells refuted reports that the move is aimed at containing China, statements by other senior US officials sound suspicious, an article in Global Times said recently. Wells said that the mechanism will offer countries in the Indo-Pacific region an alternative to predatory financing or unsustainable debt, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently rebuked China for being an irresponsible international actor prone to predatory economic policies, the article said. “Investment and trade are an important means to promote world economy. If the US, Japan, Australia and India can coordinate and support infrastructure construction and economic development of Indo-Pacific countries, they are more than welcome. But if they try to incorporate values into economic issues and display prejudice and hostility toward other countries, they will not bring stability to the region,” it added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump today underlined the need for bolstering regional economic connectivity while respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. India has been severely critical of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Modi and Trump, who held wide-ranging talks during their maiden meeting, called for “support in bolstering regional economic connectivity through the transparent development of infrastructure and the use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment.” They also urged all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law, a joint statement issued after the talks said. The assertion comes, days after Prime Minister Modi cautioned against rolling out connectivity projects without respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. In an address at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Astana, Modi, in presence of Xi, had said connectivity with countries of the region is a priority for India and that such projects should ensure inclusivity and sustainability. India has been protesting the CPEC vehemently and had abstained from the Beld and Road Forum held in Beijing last month to highlight its concerns over the project.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an oblique reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cautioned against rolling out connectivity projects without respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. In an address at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Modi, in presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, said connectivity with countries of the region is a priority for India and that such projects should ensure inclusivity and sustainability. “Connectivity with SCO member countries is a priority for India and we whole heartedly support it. We want connectivity to pave way for enhancing cooperation and confidence among the societies and young people. Respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity is necessary. It is also important to ensure inclusivity and sustainability,” the Prime Minister said. India has been severely critical of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the pet project of Xi, as the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity. In his address, Xi referred to the “successful summit” on the BRI, also known as the ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’, in Beijing last month and said the SCO may serve as an important platform for the successful implementation of the project. The Chinese President also put forth a proposal on the need for a “long term treaty of good neighbourhood for the next 5 years” among the SCO members. Russian President Vladimir Putin also talked about the project and said such connectivity initiatives would boost trade and investment in the region. Hailing the BRI, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said such mega projects will benefit the entire SCO community. “The SCO’s expansion takes place at an opportune time, as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) transforms global economic landscape. And, in Pakistan, we are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the flagship of the BRI. What is more, these mega projects will benefit the entire SCO community,” he said. A number of other SCO leaders also complimented China on initiating the mega project. Reflecting its opposition, India had boycotted the BRI Forum in Beijing. Sharif, Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Ranil Wickremesinghe, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were among the world leaders who attended the meeting. The US had sent a delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the President and senior director for Asia at the National Security Council. Earlier in the day, Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the Summit and underscored the need to respect each other’s “core concerns” and appropriately handle the disputes. During the meeting, Modi said India and China should tap their potential in cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination in international affairs, respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle their disputes. Asked if China brought up India’s boycott of the OBOR during the meeting, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar at a briefing said, “Again, I would repeat that the meeting was very cordial, meeting was very positive. There was discussion on connectivity, how we could work together. In fact, to my recollection, the AIIB i.e. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BCIM Corridor came up for discussion.” On being asked if Modi raised the issue of CPEC, Jaishankar said, “I will again give you a sense of the meeting. The sense of the meeting was that two countries have great benefit, great interest in working with each other and we will have differences but where we have differences, how do we work through those differences, find common ground where they are possible and also a sense that wherever we have concerns, each side would look at it with a degree of seriousness.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today underscored the need to respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle the disputes as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping amid tensions in the bilateral ties over a host of issues including the CPEC and India’s NSG membership bid. The two leaders met in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. It is the first meeting between the two leaders after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing last month in which 29 world leaders took part. India abstained from the summit to highlight its concerns over the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and passes through Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. During his meeting with Xi, Modi said the two sides should tap their potential in cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination in international affairs, respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle their disputes. The Indian side is grateful for China’s support for India’s accession to the SCO and will work closely with China in the organisation, Modi said. On his part, Xi told Modi that the two sides should increase communication and coordination in multilateral affairs and appropriately control and handle disputes and sensitive problems, China’s official Xinhua news agency said. In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing that both the countries “should also address sensitive and major issues” as she highlighted the issues figured in the meeting. “India should focus more cooperation and work alongside to provide assistance to each other’s developmental goals,” Hua said. “The two sides should strengthen the complementarities of the development strategies and press ahead with the major cooperation projects such as energy and railways,” Hua said. She also said the two sides should press ahead in a major way on Bangladesh, China, India Myanmar Corridor (BCIM) besides tourism, culture and other relevant fields. BCIM is part of the China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Xi also congratulated India on becoming official member of the SCO, she said. “We hope that the two counties will work together to ensure the development of the SCO,” he told Modi. Faced with profound and complex changes of the international situation, China and India, as the world’s two largest developing countries, should pay more attention to cooperation and go ahead with each other as partners, so as to instill more momentum into each other’s development and contribute to world peace, stability and common development, said the Chinese president. Xi said China attaches great importance to its ties with India. The Chinese president called for more high-level interactions, institutionalised exchanges, strategic communication and policy alignment between the two countries, Xinhua reported. China and India should also boost trade and investment cooperation and work together for earlier harvest from large- scale cooperation projects in such areas as production capability, industrial parks and railway construction, Xi said. The Chinese President said his country is willing to cooperate with India within the SCO framework and contribute to the healthy and sustained development of the organisation. China is vocal about its stand to block India’s admission into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). It had also stalled India’s move to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. After Astana, Modi and Xi are also expected to cross paths at the G20 summit to be held next month in Hamburg, Germany followed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit to be held in Xiamen, China in September.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Skirting questions whether it is willing to rename the USD 50 billion CPEC traversing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, China today said it believes in the Panchsheel principles of “mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. “We have expressed our position on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media here when asked whether China plans to rename the corridor as proposed by its envoy to New Delhi. She was also asked questions about a top BJP leader’s article in a newspaper, describing CPEC as India’s Achilles’ heel. “I want to reiterate that we would like to follow the five principles (Panchsheel) of coexistence in developing friendly relations with other countries including our efforts in promoting regional,” she said. The first principle of Panchsheel enunciated by India and China in 1954 speaks of “mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. “I am sure you also noticed that during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping also mentioned that we follow the principle of peaceful coexistence to promote the friendly cooperation along the Belt and Road. So I think in this way the concerns from the Indian side should be addressed,” she said. “As per the concern over the Kashmir region as we said before, it is an issue between India and Pakistan. B and R will not change China s position on the Kashmir issue. B and R is open and inclusive one,” Hua said. Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui had offered to rename the CPEC during an address at a think-tank in New Delhi, insisting that it was an economic cooperation and connectivity enhancement project devoid of “sovereignty issues”. However, China later removed the remarks of its envoy from the transcript of his speech posted on the embassy website, apparently after Pakistan sought a clarification on it. Chinese official in Beijing, however, suggested that it was perhaps Luo’s personal initiative to address India s concerns. In the article published in a newspaper in India, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav had described CPEC as India s Achilles heel. “Adding insult to injury for India is the very name of the project, CPEC, although the region through which it passes does not belong either to Pakistan or to China,” he said. India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held here on May 14-15 due to its sovereignty concerns over the CPEC which passes through PoK.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Tuesday took strong exception to India’s stand on its Belt and Road initiative and asked New Delhi to explain what kind of “meaningful dialogue” it wants with Beijing on the multibillion-dollar venture.”Over the past four years since the project was initiated we have been holding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” for the Belt and Road initiative, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, reacting to Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Gopal Bagley’s remarks that China should hold a meaningful dialogue on the concerns over the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project.”I do not know what the spokesperson (of MEA was) trying to say. What kind of dialogue is a meaningful dialogue. What kind of a positive attitude the spokesman wants China to have?” Hua said when asked for her reaction to Bagley’s remarks a day before the two-day Belt and Road Forum.
ALSO READ India’s objection to Belt and Road forum aimed at getting Beijing’s ‘special attention’, says Chinese mediaIndia boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held from May 14-15. The meeting was attended by 29 world leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.India skipped the meeting due to its sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).A day before the Summit, Baglay had said in New Delhi that, “Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, ‘One Belt, One Road’, which was later renamed as ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. We are awaiting a positive response from the Chinese side.” Hua, while responding to Baglay’s remarks, said, “I think our ideas and actions are there for all to see. You can see the response of the international community towards this forum.””Our attitude is always clear. We always want India to participate in the Belt and Road initiative. If they have the answer, they can give the answer to me, either in a public or private?” she said.
ALSO READ Behind China’s Silk Road vision: cheap funds, heavy debt, growing riskHua said China always followed the principle of extensive consultation with other countries on the project over which India has sovereignty concerns.”We always say the Belt and Road initiative is an open and inclusive one. We always follow the principle of extensive consultation, contribution and shared benefit,” she said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the Summit that benefits from the venture should be shared by all.Skirting any references to India’s absence at the meeting, Xi had said, “All countries should respect each other’s sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other’s development paths and social systems, and each other’s cores interests and major concerns.””I think these initiatives by China have already made a clear response to the Indian side,” Hua said.Hua asserted that China has already made its position clear on the Kashmir issue over which the Indian side is concerned.The Belt and Road initiative is for regional peace and prosperity. CPEC is not about the conflict with various sides and will not affect China’s position on the Kashmir issue. It is an open initiative and welcomes various parties, Hua said.”So, China always holds the open and inclusive attitude and we want to see the participation of more parties and to bring more impetus to the region and to the world and prosperity to development to more and more countries,” she said.”So, China welcomes the participation of India into the belt Belt and Road initiative,” she said.Facts about the initiative have shown that the Belt and Road project responded to the trend of times and is in line with the common interests of the people, Hua said, reiterating China’s stand.”It (Belt and Road) has bright future for development,” she said, adding that the venture received a “very warm response” from the international community.About the BRF which concluded yesterday, Hua said it built consensus, pointed direction for international cooperation, chartered course and identified action plans “It was a successful, productive and fruitful event,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After India skipped the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) forum in Beijing, the Chinese media said that New Delhi?s move will not deter other neighbouring countries from joining the initiative. ?It is regrettable but not a problem that India still maintains its strong opposition to the B&R, even though China has repeatedly said its position on the Kashmir dispute would not change because of the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Project),? the state run Global Times said in an article. India has been opposed to the inclusion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the OBOR initiative as a part of the project passes through disputed Kashmir region. The article advocated that the OBOR is a ?grand economic cooperation and development plan open to everyone, and is aimed at improving infrastructure in countries along the B&R route, thus benefiting the local people.? The article added that India also cited the potential debt burden as one of its other concerns, saying, “Connectivity initiatives must follow the principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create an unsustainable debt burden for communities.” Stating the deals inked by Pakistan with China and Nepal officially signing the initiative to join the OBOR, the article said that ?given the active responses from countries along the route, there is no way for India to impede its neighbouring countries from cooperating with China in infrastructure development.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India will boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum (BRF) beginning in view of sovereignty concerns related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the initiative that is expected to figure prominently in the two-day meet. Replying to a query on India’s participation, the MEA said in an official statement that they have received a formal invitation to participate in the 6 separate forums that China is organising as part of the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing between May 14 and May 16.While stating that India shared the international community’s desire for ‘enhancing physical connectivity’, it urged Beijing to engage in a ‘meaningful dialogue on its connectivity issue’.
ALSO READ China, Pakistan ink pacts ahead of Belt and Road summit; Xi Jinping says ties priorityThe MEA said in an official statement: “Guided by our principled position in the matter, we have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, ‘One Belt, One Road’ which was later renamed as ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. We are awaiting a positive response from the Chinese side. Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the BRI/OBOR, the international community is well aware of India’s position. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”It is a tricky situation for India because it cannot get any diplomatic dividend by attending it. Indian officials maintain that New Delhi has objections related only to the CPEC traversing through Gilgit and Baltistan of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India treats the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part.
ALSO READ Silk Road Summit: India to skip China’s high-profile Belt and Road Forum due to concerns over CPECStaying away from the meet may “isolate” India in the region as all countries in South Asia — barring Bhutan which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with China — were participating, a top Chinese official in New Delhi had said last week. He had warned that New Delhi’s absence “will not be constructive” for bilateral ties.Playing down India’s absence at the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had told the media yesterday that Indian scholars would be attending the meeting.Japan, at the receiving end of strong criticism from China in the last few years particularly over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, has also agreed to send a high level political delegation that includes a vice minister.The May 14-15 summit, which is expected to strengthen Xi s power base as he gets set to begin his second five-year tenure later this year, will be attended by 29 heads of state and government, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.A number of other countries, including South Korea, France, Germany and UK, have deputed either ministerial or official delegations.While this is the outcome of hectic diplomatic lobbying by China, unlike India, none of the other countries have sovereignty related issues with the One Belt and One Road initiative.Considering CPEC’s importance in the plan — it is the only project at present with prospects of delivering early results — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to take centrestage to highlight its significance as a game changer for his country.He is leading perhaps the largest delegation — four chief ministers and five federal ministers.Besides Sharif, the only head of government to be represented at the summit will be Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe who will be in Beijing immediately after hosting his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at home.From Nepal, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara will lead the delegation.Bangladesh and the Maldives will also have official representations.India’s stand on the meet comes after a year of bilateral discord over China’s stubborn opposition to its entry into the NSG and a UN ban against Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Masood Azhar.China, too, protested India s decision to permit the Dalai Lama last month to visit Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as South Tibet.In the last few days, China has tried to assuage India s feelings by asserting that the commercial CPEC will not have any impact on its stand that the Kashmir issue should be settled by India and Pakistan through dialogue.The Gwadar port across the waters from Mumbai s port housing the Indian Navy’s western naval command provides a berth for China in the Arabian Sea and to the Indian Ocean. China has already announced plans to station its marines there as well in Djibouti in Horn of Africa in Indian Ocean.With inputs from PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India is likely to boycott China s Belt and Road Forum (BRF) beginning here tomorrow in view of sovereignty concerns related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the initiative that is expected to figure prominently in the two-day meet. While there is no official word with the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi declining to comment, informed sources told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after the Chinese envoy’s attempts to convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the One-Belt, One Road (OBOR) summit in Beijing on May 14-15 by offering to rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — a key component of OBOR — Beijing deleted this portion of his speech from the embassy website.The move is seen as a major diplomatic embarrassment for the Chinese envoy, Luo Zhaohui.Seeking to allay India’s concerns, Luo had offered to rename the CPEC, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, insisting it was an economic cooperation and connectivity enhancement project devoid of “sovereignty issues”. He said that China has no intention to get involved in the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan and that the project is for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity in the region.In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang skirted questions on why the portions of the speech were removed. “According to my understanding, the Chinese embassy in India released information about the ambassador’s attendance and relevant activities. If you are interested, I suggest you use the Internet for more information,” he said….& ANALYSISIndia’s reluctance has made it difficult for China to extend the OBOR network to Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Ahead of the OBOR summit, Chinese officials had increased their lobbying to get New Delhi to attend, before this move to delete the envoy’s remarks.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seeking to allay India’s concerns, China has offered to rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through PoK, insisting it was an economic cooperation and connectivity enhancement project devoid of “sovereignty issues”. It also strongly pushed for New Delhi’s participation in the ‘One Belt One Road’ project. Chinese ambassador to New Delhi Luo Zhaohui, while referring to frosty Indo-Pakistan ties, said China was willing to mediate to resolve the differences between the two countries if it was acceptable to both sides. Referring to the CPEC, which is part of OBOR, he said China has no intention to get involved in the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan and that the project is for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity in the region. “It has no connections to or impact on sovereignty issues. Even we can think about renaming the CPEC. China and India have had successful experience of delinking sovereignty disputes from bilateral relations before,” he said in closed-door address to a think-tank on Friday. India has been severely critical of the CPEC, saying the project violates its sovereignty as it runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Luo said China is sincere in its intention to cooperate with India on the OBOR as it is “good for both of us.” Maintaining that China and India could be natural partners in connectivity and the OBOR, the Chinese ambassador said Indian economy was behind China by at least 13 years, suggesting New Delhi should grab economic opportunities offered by Beijing. “Now the GDP of India is roughly that of China in 2004, some 13 years ago. China leads India by 13 years mainly because we started reform and opening up 13 years earlier,” he said. Referring to the view in India that China always puts Pakistan first when handling its relations with South Asian countries, he said the government always follows “China first” policy and that problems are dealt on merit. “I want to tell you this is not true. Simply put, we always put China first and we deal with problems based on their own merits. Take Kashmir issue for example, we supported the relevant UN resolutions before 1990s. Then we supported a settlement through bilateral negotiation in line with the Simla Agreement. This is an example of China taking care of India’s concern,” he said. On India’s bid for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), he said, “We do not oppose any country’s membership, believing that a standard for admission should be agreed upon first.” The envoy also proposed a four-point initiative to improve ties between India and China which includes aligning its ‘OBOR’ project with India’s ‘Act East Policy’, and restarting negotiations on a free trade pact. The proposal put forward by Luo includes starting negotiations on a ‘China-India Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation’ and prioritising finding an early solution to the border dispute between the two countries. “Firstly, start negotiation on a China-India Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation. Secondly, restart negotiation of China-India Free Trade Agreement. Thirdly, strive for an early harvest on the border issue. Fourthly, actively explore the feasibility of aligning China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ (OBOR) and India’s ‘Act East Policy’,” he said. He said good ties between India and China were conducive to regional stability. The development of China, India, Pakistan and the stability of the whole region call for a stable and friendly environment, he said. “Otherwise, how could we open up and develop? That’s why we say we are willing to mediate when India and Pakistan have problems. But the precondition is that both India and Pakistan accept it. We do this only out of goodwill. We do hope that there is no problem at all,” Luo said. “When the Mumbai terrorist Attack on November 26, 2008, took place, I was Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, and I did a lot of mediation at that time,” he said. On trade ties between the two countries, Luo said he was happy to see that China had contributed its share to India’s development. “Today, China is the second largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 11 trillion US dollars. China’s development also benefited from India’s participation,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India must not “exaggerate” concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or “overly interpret” Beijing’s military development, a state-run Chinese daily said on Monday, days after the Indian Army chief suggested New Delhi carry out counter-encirclement of its “future adversaries”.The article in Global Times, a ruling Communist Party publication, said India worries that China was intentionally meddling in India-Pakistan disputes, “utilising the CPEC (which runs through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) to grant legitimacy to Islamabad’s control over the disputed region.” “India is viewing Beijing and Islamabad as potential threats and is suspicious of Beijing’s One Belt and One Road initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” it said, adding that “India is exaggerating the situation”.”Beijing respects New Delhi’s sovereignty concerns, and is willing to mediate in India-Pakistan disputes, on the condition that it accords to the wishes of both India and Pakistan,” it said.The remarks in the Chinese daily came after Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat last week said India must have close ties with Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan considering the security matrix. He said such a strategy will create a two-pronged dilemma for Pakistan, and also help tackle issues with the other difficult neighbour China, suggesting New Delhi should “carry out counter-encirclement for our future adversaries.” Referring to his remarks, the article said China advocates peaceful development and it “has and will never seek hegemony in the region.”China’s defence budget will rise by about 7% this year, the lowest since 2010 and Beijing’s military development is “part of its national construction, and New Delhi should not overly interpret it,” it said.The Indian media suggests that China’s military expenditure for 2017, about 1.3% of the GDP, is three times higher than that of India. “Frankly speaking, even if New Delhi’s military spending is boosted to the same level, India still lags behind its northern neighbour in its military capability. For instance, India’s development of aircraft carrier is very slow despite its early start,” it said.China has one refurbished aircraft carrier and recently launched a homemade carrier, which was expected to take a few years to operationalise. A third carrier is reportedly under construction. The official media again urged India to join the ambition Chinese project to link China with Eurasia through the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative amid concern here about New Delhi’s apparent silence over participation in this week’s B&R summit.At least 28 heads of state and government, including the prime ministers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have confirmed their participation in the summit Beijing is projecting as a global acceptance of the initiative.The article said “instead of being overly concerned about China’s rise, New Delhi should consider taking an early role in B&R initiative. China’s infrastructural initiative will not only bring economic benefits, but also fulfil India’s ambition to be an influential economic power in the region.” It urged India to abandon its “suspicions” and adopt a pragmatic attitude towards China’s and Pakistan’s development.The B&R initiative includes a maze of road, rail and port projects in a number of countries to connect mainland China to markets in Asia and Europe.While the CPEC is highlighted as the “flagship project” of the initiative, it also includes the Bangladesh-China- India-Myanmar (BCIM), New Eurasian Land Bridge, China- Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India should not “overly interpret” Beijing’s military development or exaggerate concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a state-run Chinese daily said today, days after the Indian Army chief suggested New Delhi carry out counter-encirclement of its “future adversaries”. The article in Global Times, a ruling Communist Party publication, said India worries that China was intentionally meddling in India-Pakistan disputes, “utilising the CPEC (which runs through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) to grant legitimacy to Islamabad’s control over the disputed region.” “India is viewing Beijing and Islamabad as potential threats and is suspicious of Beijing’s One Belt and One Road initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” it said, adding that “India is exaggerating the situation”. “Beijing respects New Delhi’s sovereignty concerns, and is willing to mediate in India-Pakistan disputes, on the condition that it accords to the wishes of both India and Pakistan,” it said. The remarks in the Chinese daily came after Gen Bipin Rawat last week said India must have close ties with Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan considering the security matrix. He said such a strategy will create a two-pronged dilemma for Pakistan, and also help tackle issues with the other difficult neighbour China, suggesting New Delhi should “carry out counter-encirclement for our future adversaries.” Referring to his remarks, the article said China advocates peaceful development and it has and will “never seek hegemony in the region.” China’s defence budget will rise by about 7 per cent this year, the lowest since 2010 and Beijing’s military development is “part of its national construction, and New Delhi should not overly interpret it,” it said. The Indian media suggests that China’s military expenditure for 2017, about 1.3 per cent of the GDP, is three times higher than that of India. “Frankly speaking, even if New Delhi’s military spending is boosted to the same level, India still lags behind its northern neighbour in its military capability. For instance, India’s development of aircraft carrier is very slow despite its early start,” it said. China has one refurbished aircraft carrier and recently launched a homemade carrier, which was expected to take a few years to operationalise. A third carrier is reportedly under construction. The official media again urged India to join the ambition Chinese project to link China with Eurasia through the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative amid concern here about New Delhi’s apparent silence over participation in this week’s B&R summit. At least 28 heads of state and government, including the prime ministers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have confirmed their participation in the summit Beijing is projecting as a global acceptance of the initiative. The article said “instead of being overly concerned about China’s rise, New Delhi should consider taking an early role in B&R initiative. China’s infrastructural initiative will not only bring economic benefits, but also fulfil India’s ambition to be an influential economic power in the region.” It urged India to abandon its “suspicions” and adopt a pragmatic attitude towards China’s and Pakistan’s development. Meanwhile, some Chinese thinktanks warned that India’s absence at the B&R summit could affect the active participation of several countries in the region. Prof Lin Minwang of Institute of International Studies of Fudan University said last week that India’s participation was important as it constitutes 80 per cent of South Asia’s economy. “If New Delhi is reluctant to get involved in China’s development plan, other countries in the region will also be impacted when participating in the B&R initiative. That’s why the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor’s (BCIM) progress is very slow,” Lin said. The B&R initiative includes a maze of roads and port projects passing through a number of countries to connect mainland China to markets in Asia and Europe. While CPEC is highlighted as the “flagship project” of the initiative, it also includes BCIM, New Eurasian Land Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, China- Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing tensions between Indian and Pakistan over the Jammu and Kashmir issue, a Chinese daily on Tuesday said that the country was prepared to interfere in the valley to protect its ‘massive investment.’The remark comes despite India’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (POK).”Given the massive investment that China has made in countries along the One Belt, One Road, it now has a vested interest in helping resolve regional conflicts including the dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan,” said the state-run Global Times on Tuesday.The multi-billion ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative is the official name of the Silk Road or the Belt and Road project.India has protested against China’s over $46-billion CPEC, which connects western China’s restive Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar through the PoK, and has reservations over the Maritime Silk Road as it impacts the Indian Ocean which is important to India’s security interests.
ALSO READ China’s rare disclosure: Communist Party admits officials are funding Dalai LamaFurther stating that China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the daily said, “It doesn’t mean Beijing can turn a deaf ear to the demands of Chinese enterprises in protecting their overseas investments.”The daily also said that China has been at the centre of a regional power shift, thus the country now needs to learn how to act as a stabilising force and conflict mediator in the region and needs to be very prudent in dealing with other big powers in the region, including India.”Mediating between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue would perhaps be one of the toughest challenges facing China in dealing with regional affairs to safeguard its overseas interests,” the report said.Earlier in January, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had said that the CPEC passes through a territory that we see as our territory.
ALSO READ Responding to China’s ring-fenceBilateral ties with China have been clouded with Beijing repeatedly blocking New Delhi’s move to gain membership to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and the move for a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, who India accuses of being behind the terror attack on the Pathankot air base in January last year.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India sees China’s Silk Road initiative as a geopolitical competition and is using the Kashmir issue as an “unfounded excuse” to oppose the ambitious project, Chinese state media today alleged and asked New Delhi to “abandon” its “cliche mentality”. “The official reason the Indian government rejected the offer to join the initiative (Silk Road) is that it is designed to pass through Kashmir. However, it is just an unfounded excuse as Beijing has been maintaining a consistent position on the Kashmir issue, which has never changed,” one of the two articles on India by state-run Global Times said. “India sees the Belt and Road initiative as a geopolitical competition,” the article said, criticising India for hindering Beijing’s push into South Asia and the world with multi-billion Silk Road project which is also known as the ‘Belt and Road’ (BR). “Whether to continue to boycott or join the Belt and Road remains a conundrum for New Delhi,” it said adding that, India is the only one which can help itself. The article said that India should give up its “biased” view on the BR initiative. “It is high time to abandon the cliche mentality of associating everything with geopolitics. India will surely see a different world if it does,” the article said. Referring to India’s reservations to attend the BR summit called by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the article said it may be an “embarrassing occasion” for India as the meeting is backed by “China’s peripheral countries, notably Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Pakistan”. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently said 20 heads of state will attend the summit, together with over 50 leaders from international organisations, over 100 ministerial officials and more than 1,200 guests from around the world. The article referred to a comment by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar during his visit here last month to co-chair the upgraded India-China strategic dialogue, saying India is examining China’s invitation to attend the summit and “how a country whose sovereignty has been violated can come on an invitation”. In the meantime, however, state-run Chinese media stepped up campaign to pressurise India to join the summit. China apparently is keen about India’s participation in the summit as the project struggled to make headway in the region except the USD 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) where both Beijing-Islamabad are putting all efforts to show early harvest. Media reports here said that Xi plans to invite his US counterpart Donald Trump to attend the meeting during their first summit early next month in Florida. BR consisted of maze of roads, including CPEC, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic (BCIM) Corridor and 21st Maritime Silk Road besides road network to connect China with Eurasia. The article also said, “it seems that the mainstream opinion throughout India is that the connectivity brought about by BR initiative is geopolitically significant. Therefore, India cannot allow the initiative to expand further into South Asia”. “This could also explain why the BCIM has seen no progress since its proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2013, and also why New Delhi has been keen on Japan’s investment in the Iranian port of Chabahar,” it said. “New Delhi may also feel embarrassed as Moscow has actively responded to the Belt and Road initiative and will build an economic corridor with China and Mongolia,” it said, adding Russia and Iran seeking to join the CPEC putting “India in a more awkward position”. It said, “Beijing has expressed, on various occasions, its anticipation to see New Delhi join the grand project and to make concerted effort with India in building economic corridors involving China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar”. Another article in the same daily said a “benign” competition between India and China may help development in South Asia but they should avoid “cut-throat” rivalry. “The so-called dragon-elephant contention is perhaps a blow against strategic mutual trust between Beijing and New Delhi, but may be conducive to development in South Asia,” it said. Accusing India of not being “generous” to its neighbours, it said “a yawning infrastructure funding gap in South Asian countries creates space for China and those nations to strengthen economic cooperation”. “Bangladesh and China signed 27 deals worth billions of dollars during President Xi Jinping’s visit last year,” it said, adding China’s BR initiative has received an increasing amount of attention from Bangladesh. “Only by investing more resources in regional integration and extending the benefits from India’s rapid economic growth to other South Asian countries can New Delhi maintain its influence in the region,” it said. “Benign competition between China and India will be conducive to development in South Asia. The question remaining is how to avoid cut-throat competition as Beijing and New Delhi jostle for influence. India and China should seek common ground while strengthening cooperation with South Asian countries to promote regional integration,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan today said the logistic agreement signed between India and the US, that enables them to use each other’s military assets and bases for repair and resupply, has jeopardised the idea of an ‘Asian Century’. Its National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua said the growing cooperation between India and the US – including with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed in August last year – has jeopardised the idea of an ‘Asian Century’. The LEMOA agreement enables India and the US to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. Speaking at a conference on ‘Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: Challenges and Prospects for Pakistan’, Janjua said, “Inter-state tensions in the region and significant investments in blue water navies by countries like India have brought oceans into focus as sensitive security space.” The conference was held to analyse the challenges in the realm of maritime security emanating from militarisation and nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean and power projection in the region, emerging alliances and threats to the Beijing-backed USD 45 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Janjua said the idea of an ‘Asian Century’ was under threat because “security architecture and strategic stability of the region had come under stress”, adding India and the US have “carved out space to preposition themselves in this ocean. India is being propped up as a counter-weight to China through geo-political, economic and military moves.” Sehar Kamran, President of the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies – one of the organisers of the conference, said fulfillment of the vision of ‘Asian Century’ needs a focus on 3Cs connectivity, cooperation, and communication. The conference recommended to place special emphasis on modernisation of the Pakistan Navy. “Pakistan should increase and modernise its naval fleet, and pursue technological advancements in sea-based deterrents to ensure an assured second strike capability, especially in the context of the growing threats by the belligerent India,” said Kamran. Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain claimed “competitors” were opposed to the CPEC and were “already seeking to sabotage it.” Former deputy chief of naval staff Vice Admiral (retd) Iftikhar Ahmed said, “If we have the requisite infrastructure and enabling environment at Gwadar and the region, Gwadar will surely emerge as the economic hub of the region.” The CPEC begins in China’s restive Xinjiang region and ends in southern Pakistan’s Gwadar port. The stated aim of the project is to economically link China with Euro-Asia region. He stressed that the Iranian port of Chahbahar, being built by India and Iran, posed no challenge to Gwadar and the two could compliment each other.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China today said it will “actively move forward” and give a global push to its ambitious Silk Road initiative after a UN Security Council resolution called for its implementation amid India’s concerns over a part of the project that passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. China’s official assertion came as the state media here asked India to adopt a “more pragmatic” approach towards the initiative, claiming global support for President Xi Jinping’s pet project whose stated aim is to link China with Euro-Asia through a maze of connecting rail, road and port projects. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here that in the Resolution 2344 unanimously adopted by the 15-member UNSC on March 17, the important concept of building a community of shared future for mankind was incorporated for the first time, reflecting global consensus on the project. “The resolution urged all parties to further advance the Belt and Road Initiative and raised specific requirements on strengthening security safeguards,” Hua said. “China would like to work with UN members to actively move forward the building of the Belt and Road Initiative following the Security Council resolution and jointly build a community of shared future for mankind that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, cleanness and beauty,” she said. The resolution called for strengthening economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours through Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and Chabahar port project between Afghanistan, India and Iran, and China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road initiatives. The multi-billion ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative is the official name of the Silk Road or the Belt and Road project. It includes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to connect China with ports across the world as well as the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – which passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir – and the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic (BCIM) corridor. While the work on CPEC is rapidly progressing, there isn’t any official update on the rest of the projects. India has protested to China over the CPEC – which connects western China’s restive Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar through the PoK – and has reservations over the Maritime Silk Road as it impacts the Indian Ocean which is important to India’s security interests. However, New Delhi has backed the BCIM and is actively supporting it, according to Indian officials. The official Chinese media says the inclusion of the OBOR in the UNSC resolution is an endorsement of the initiative by the world body. “Despite concerns from India, broader support has been given to the OBOR from the international community,” said an article in the ruling Communist Party-run Global Times.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan hopes that there will be a better environment to pursue peace talks with India after the state assembly elections in the neighbouring country, a senior minister has said.”We are hoping that by March these state elections will be over and maybe then there will be a better environment to pursue peace talks with India. But we are totally committed,” Pakistani Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told a gathering here.Responding to a question at the US Institute of Peace, a top American think-tank, Iqbal rued that Pakistan is an election issue in the state assembly elections in India.”This is a bit unfortunate that they’re taking, you know, strong positions along the electoral cycle. I think we should be mature enough to think beyond that was India and Pakistan have to live together, we cannot change our geography, and we must now, think in terms of peace,” Iqbal said.Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said, is a strong advocate of peace in the region.”We have very actively pursued peace with Afghanistan and India and continue to do so because we think that our development depends upon peace in the region,” he said.”But I think, there is a little issue that, in Pakistan, since 93′ I don’t remember any election where any leadership has shown any sensitivity towards doing India bashing in order to get some extra votes in the elections. I mean, in our elections India is not affected, nobody speaks about India, nobody does any India bashing,” he said.”But somehow we feel that the electoral dynamics in India are still quite sensitive to Pakistan bashing. So whenever you have, a electoral process in India, the government takes a certain hawkish position towards Pakistan,” Iqbal said, adding that after these election there will be a better environment to pursue peace talks with India.Responding to a question, Iqbal alleged that India’s reaction to USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is “a knee jerk” reaction.India, he said, needs to look at opportunities with CPEC as increasing regional cooperation.”So instead of opposing CPEC, it should now join CPEC and look at different opportunities,” he said, adding CPEC would provide India shortest land route to do trade with most of China.”What you also have to see, that in China, they have now developed extensive road and rail links with West China,” he added.”If you are even doing trade through CPEC you can reach out to any destination in China from this area. So we are very hopeful and we continue to work to normalize our relations with India,” Iqbal said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an embarrassing gaffe, Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawah “erroneously” quoted the Mumbai attack mastermind as saying that China and Russia had a role in terror being perpetrated in Pakistan. “Pakistan must put pressure on China, Russia and other countries to stop India from committing terrorism in Pakistan,” Saeed said while talking to reporters at the JuD headquarters. However, in a statement issued by the JuD after the meeting, it quoted Saeed as having said, “The Pakistani government should increase pressure on India to stop state terrorism in the country through China, Russia and other countries.”JuD official Ahmad Nadeem later told PTI that the statement “erroneously” mentioned China’s name regarding terrorism in Pakistan.”Hafiz said that the Pakistani government should link China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with freedom of Kashmir and put pressure on China and Russia and other countries which are part of CPEC or going to be part of it to influence India to stop terrorism in Pakistan,” Nadeem said.In another demand from the PML-N government, the Mumbai terror attack mastermind asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stage a sit-in outside the office of the United Nations along with his cabinet members to press for the implementation of its resolution in Kashmir and ensure that the Kashmiris get the right to self-determination.”Nawaz and his ministers should continue holding the sit-in till the end of Indian aggression on Kashmiris,” Saeed said. Saeed, who carries USD 10 million bounty on his head, also demanded that Sharif should immediately sever trade ties with India and not restore them till the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the backdrop of growing unease in Sino-India ties, India today said it has been trying to convince the Chinese government that its ascent is not harmful to the rise of China and that both countries should be sensitive on matters relating to sovereignty.In an address at the Raisina Dialogue, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar took strong objection to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, saying there should have been some reflection on India’s unhappiness over it.”What we are trying to do is to convince China that our rise is not harmful to China’s rise just as China’s rise need not be to India’s rise,” he said at the gathering attended by representatives from across the world.Chill has set in Sino-India ties following China’s opposition to India’s membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group as well as Beijing blocking India’s move at the UN to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.During the interactive session, during which he touched upon a vast array of subjects concerning international relations, Jaishankar said the SAARC has been made “ineffective due to the insecurity of one member”.Identifying terrorism as the most “pervasive and serious challenge” to international security, the Foreign Secretary said developing a serious global response to it is of the highest priority but rued that it is hard to do.On ties with China, Jaishankar said there has been overall broadening of ties, especially in areas of business and people-to-people contact, but they have been overshadowed by differences on certain political issues.”But it is important for the two countries not to lose sight of the strategic nature of their engagement, or falter in their conviction that their rise can be mutually supportive,” he said.Replying to a question on CPEC, he said both countries should show sensitivity to each other’s sovereignty.”China is a country which is very sensitive on matters concerning its sovereignty. So we would expect that they would have some understanding of other people’s sensitivity on their sovereignty,” he said.Jaishankar said the CPEC passes through a “piece of land that we call Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir which is territory belongs to India and which is illegally occupied by Pakistan”.He said the project has been undertaken without consultation with India and that its sensitivity and concerns towards it are natural.On India’s overall ties with China, he said both the countries have opened up significantly since 1945.”In a sense, both of us, if you step back and look at it, are opening up a very close international order. When people talk about change since 1945, I think two big changes are really India and China.”I would say if China had not opened up the international order the way it did, I think it would be much harder today for India also to exploit those phases. There is a high degree of shared interests,” he said.