This So-called illegal ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) passes through parts of the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh which are under illegal occupation of Pakistan, asserted Ministry of External Affairs of India.

The Indian Government’s concerns arise from the fact that the inclusion of the so-called illegal ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) as a flagship project of ‘OBOR/BRI’, directly impinges on the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, the Ministry of External Affairs told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The Government has conveyed its concerns to the Chinese side about their activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and has asked them to cease such activities, according to MEA.

Further, the Government is of the firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms. They must follow principles of openness, transparency and financial responsibility and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of other nations, the MEA stated, adding, Government’s consistent position in this regard has also been endorsed by other countries.

The India-USA Joint Statement ‘Prosperity through Partnership’ released in June 2017 called upon all nations to support bolstering regional economic connectivity through 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, the MEA told Lok Sbha.

The India-Japan ‘Prosperity through Partnership’ released in September 2017 also underlined the importance of all countries ensuring the development and use of connectivity infrastructure in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner based on international standards and responsible debt financing 1 practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment, the MEA informed.

The European Commission issued a Joint Communication in September 2018 titled ‘Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy’ in which it has been highlighted that the European Union promotes an approach to connectivity, which is sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based. Connectivity has to be economically, fiscally, environmentally and socially sustainable in the long term, according to MEA.