China defends CPEC
China on 24 May 2021 again defended its controversial USD 60 billion CPEC project with Pakistan, disregarding India's protests as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying it is an economic initiative and has not affected its principled stand on the Kashmir issue.
- Leaders of China and Pakistan have praised the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in recent days as the two close allies celebrated the establishment of 70 years of their diplomatic relations.
- India has protested to China over the CPEC, the flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
- The massive infrastructure project connects China's Xinjiang province with Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
- China has been defending the CPEC, saying it is an economic project not aimed at any third country.
- China said CPEC as one of the pioneering projects under the BRI has made important and major progress in infrastructure, energy, ports and industrial parks.
- The Belt and Road Initiative is an open international economic cooperation initiative with objectives of enhancing regional connectivity and achieving common development.
- We are also extending the CPEC to regional countries, including Afghanistan. This will not only boost faster economic development in Pakistan, but also regional connectivity.