CPEC: India's Claim to Pakistan-Controlled Kashmir is a Problem, Scholar Says
India's claim to the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir has reportedly resulted in conflicts for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Wang Yiwei, Dean of the Center for European Studies at the Renmin University, said.
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"India says that whole of Kashmir (including the part controlled by Pakistan) belongs to India. This is a Pakistan-dominated area, not India," Wang told IANS, noting that "it's a problem [for CPEC]."
Wang said that India was unnecessarily concerned about the CPEC. Indian security experts earlier said that they fear that China would eventually find it easy to sail into the Indian Ocean after it gains access to the strategic Gwadar Port.
When asked how the CPEC issue would be resolved, Wang said: "You should ask Pakistan." But he also noted that India's concern should be addressed. "We want India to join the Belt and Road forum. Belt and Road is a guarantee that it's a win-win [project]."
China has been trying to persuade India to join the upcoming Belt and Road Forum on May 14 and 15 in Beijing.
Meanwhile, China has previously offered to rename CPEC for India, but this was later amended after the suggestion stroked fears in Pakistan, which is worried that China may eventually be convinced to eliminate the word "Pakistan" in the corridor's name.
"Even we can think about renaming the CPEC," Luo Zhaohui, China's ambassador in New Delhi, said. "This is an example of China taking care of India's concern," he noted, adding that China do not have plans to get involve with the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan.
Beijing has reiterated its unchanged stance on the Kashmir issue. "With regard to the CPEC, China has been stressing that it is an economic program. China's promotion of the relevant program does not mean we have changed our position on the relevant issue. These are two different things," Geng Shuang, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said.