THE HINDU NEWS-Respect territorial sovereignty, India tells China
Respect territorial sovereignty, India tells China
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar
'China is yet to reciprocate to India’s territorial concerns on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor'
Asserting territorial sovereignty India on Wednesday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through its territory. Addressing the Raisina Dialogue, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that China is yet to reciprocate to India’s territorial concerns on CPEC.
“China is very sensitive on matters concerning its sovereignty. We expect they respect other peoples sovereignty. CPEC passes through a territory that we see as our territory. Surely people will understand what Indian reaction is. There needs to be some reflection and I am sorry to say that we have not seen signs of that”, said Mr. Jaishankar at the event which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
The Foreign Secretary’s utterance on CPEC highlights Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments where he had drawn attention to territorial sovereignty of India. “Respect for sovereignty is important for regional connectivity to improve,” Mr. Modi said in his inaugural speech. China and Pakistan have fast-tracked the construction work of the CPEC, a large part of which passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Once completed CPEC will provide all-weather energy route for China from the Gulf. India’s concerns have also increased in recent weeks with reports of China-Pakistan naval cooperation in Gwadar port of Balochistan, which will serve as the entry point to CPEC.
The Foreign Secretary said that China’s rise is a major “dynamic” factor in the Asian affairs reminded that differences with China have not gone away. “With China, the overall broadening of ties, especially in business and people-to- people contacts, has been overshadowed by differences on certain political issues,” said Mr Jaishankar, and added, “But it is important for the two countries not to lose sight of the strategic nature of their engagement or falter in their conviction that their rise can be mutually supportive.”
Foreign Secretary’s comments about CPEC and “political issues” are significant as both India and China have dealt with the differences over the last several months which left a shadow especially in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) where India’s membership bid was scuttled by China in 2016.
China’s territorial assertion over Asia however received a jolt in July 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration gave an adverse verdict on the South China Sea issue. Foreign Secretary said that India’s position on South China Sea is in sync with the international position.