BEIJING: The Chinese media has advised India to consider the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) an ‘important opportunity’ as it is beneficial for the whole region and ‘allows greater cooperation among nations’.
An opinion piece in state-run daily on this subject, at a time when Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar just concluded the strategic dialogue with Beijing, holds significance. According to a press release issued by Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday, two sides agreed to cement coordination on international and regional affairs and properly deal with differences and sensitive issues.
However, Indian Foreign Secretary accused the economic corridor of violating India's sovereignty as it runs through the part of Kashmir held by Pakistan. Commenting on Indian fears that the corridor may serve as the purpose of ‘granting legitimacy to Pakistan's control over the region’ and that China is meddling in the dispute, the op-ed piece clarified that these concerns are unwarranted and China has no intention of interfering in the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan.
“China has long believed that the two neighbors should solve their dispute through dialogue and consultations, and it has repeatedly emphasized that the construction of the CPEC would not affect its stance on the issue.” Allaying Indian concerns, author Yu Ning said China respects India's sovereignty concerns and it hoped India could adopt an objective and more pragmatic attitude toward the One Belt, One Road proposal.
The writer said: “India should not view Pakistan's development as a threat. As long as India is willing to, China, Pakistan and India could cooperate to tap the vast economic potential in the disputed Kashmir region. It's estimated that the CPEC could pave the way for about 1 million new jobs and could attract a strong influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the region. India should seize the opportunity to allay misunderstandings with Pakistan through economic cooperation”.
“By joining the CPEC, India will not only benefit economically, but could also make itself a pioneer in regional economic integration to better fulfill its ambition of becoming an influential regional economic power.”