After Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke about an economic corridor from Gwadar Port in Pakistan to China’s Xinjiang province, India on Friday said it had expressed reservations over Chinese presence in development projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“Developments in other countries, between two countries, are not a matter for me to comment on. But to the extent that it concerns Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, we have made known our views to the Chinese leadership at the highest level. We have serious reservations about it,” Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters here.
During his Pakistan visit, Keqiang said there was a plan to create a joint economic corridor linking the central and western parts of China and Pakistan.
This is interpreted as an economic corridor through the Karakoram Pass down to the Gwadar Port, the operations of which were handed over to a Chinese firm earlier this year.
During the Chinese leader’s recent visit to New Delhi, India had raised the issue of Chinese presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where it is apparently involved in building hydropower projects at Gilgit Balitstan. India believed there was strong Chinese military presence in the disputed territory.
“Chinese construction activity in PoK is a cause of concern for us. We raised the issue during talks.... We flagged our concerns.... We were assured they are development projects,” Khurshid had said, after meeting Keqiang here.