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Chinese media likens PoK with Taiwan, asks India to back CPEC

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-03-2017 K J M Varma

Beijing: India should be “more pragmatic and flexible” to support the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project despite sovereignty issues linked to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as China backs business links between Taiwan and India, a state-run media said on Monday.

“The CPEC won’t affect the status quo of Kashmir dispute” as China has stated that it should be resolved between India and Pakistan, an article in the state-run Global Times said.

The project is an economic plan set to connect China and Pakistan and advance Pakistan’s economy and improve the lives of its people, the paper said, adding the investment from Chinese firms and their participation in some architectural construction won’t affect the situation of Kashmir either.

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“Just like the Taiwan question, Beijing doesn’t object any economic links between Taiwan and other countries including India because economic activities won’t alter China’s sovereignty over the island,” it said.

“Hence, India should be flexible and pragmatic, and be more open to economic activities in the Kashmir region conducted by Chinese companies,” it said. Clashes have impeded the economic development of both India and Pakistan as violence and terrorism led to underdevelopment and poverty in Kashmir, it claimed.

“The CPEC, however, will boost the economic development in the region, bringing jobs and improving the quality of life,” the paper said, adding that the project can be extended to Jammu and Kashmir if India allows, and benefit the Indian people, as well as regional stability.

India has protested over the CPEC project as it passes through PoK. China defends the project, saying it is a development oriented project aimed at improving lives of the local people and it makes no difference to Beijing’s stand on the Kashmir issue.

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