China blinked on CPEC, they are now open to renaming the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project that runs through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to address India’s sovereignty concerns and ostensibly to make it a multilateral initiative, its envoy in Delhi has said. Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said in an address to the United Services Institution in Delhi. “Even we can think about renaming the CPEC,” But is China honest or is this another game (share your comments and read full article below)
Luo continued that China supported Kashmir resolution “bilaterally” in line with India’s view and that (China) “supported a settlement through bilateral negotiation according to the Simla Agreement”. He further said that “This is an example of China taking care of India’s concern”
Mr. Luo seemed to understood that India has concerns over the China CPEC passing through POK. Luo also suggested China would be willing to rename CPEC as it was not winning many friends in India for China. “China has no intention to get involved in the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan”, according to the Chinese Embassy’s transcript of the speech he delivered at the USI on May 5. Luo is hopeful that this should provide India with initiative to join the one belt one road initiative. He did not clarify whether China would de-link CPEC from OBOR, which may also pave the way to India joining the Chinese investment.
Luo stressed that “the CPEC is for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity. It has no connections to or impact on sovereignty issues. China and India have had successful experience of de-linking sovereignty disputes with bilateral relations before. In history, we have had close cooperation along the ancient Silk Road. Why shouldn’t we support this kind of cooperation today? In a word, China is sincere in its intention to cooperate with India on the OBOR, as it is good for both of us.”
Luo also said China was “willing to mediate when India and Pakistan have problems” but “precondition is that both India and Pakistan accept it.” “We do hope that there is no problem at all. When the Mumbai Terrorist Attack on November 26, 2008, took place, I was Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, and I did a lot of mediation at that time,”.
In his speech, Luo presented four point proposal for ties: “Firstly, start negotiation on a China-India Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. Secondly, restart negotiation of China-India Free Trade Agreement. Thirdly, strive for an early harvest on the border issue. Fourthly, actively explore the feasibility of aligning China’s OBOR and India’s Act East Policy.”
Why please India now?
It’s not that complicated, firstly China is looking to put fuel in the OBOR project and also maybe CPEC. With a major regional powerhouse, India left out of the spectrum, China will find it difficult to pull the projects through to success. Yes, I am aware how big Chinese economy is and how many folds their GDP is than India and blah blah. But you forget that now that power is coming back to Asia, India will rightfully gain its historic GDP share of the world. Indian GDP was 22.6% in 1700s and it will be close to that once again and how? you will see. It may not be a good idea for India to jump in the Chinese wagon. Chinese projects are known to benefit China and most other investors have lost money, plus do we care if CPEC fails?
(with inputs from India today)