NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday firmly rejected the references to Jammu and Kashmir and an economic corridor passing through PoK made in a China-Pakistan joint statement, asserting that the region as well as the Union Territory of Ladakh "have been, are and will" always remain integral and inalienable parts of India.
Regarding the reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the statement, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has consistently conveyed its concerns to China and Pakistan on the projects.
India "resolutely opposes" any attempts to change the status quo by "other countries, as also by Pakistan" in the areas under the illegal occupation of Islamabad, he said.
In response to a media query, Bagchi said India expects the "parties concerned" not to interfere in matters that are internal affairs of India.
The joint statement was issued on February 6 following talks in Beijing between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Bagchi said India has "noted references to J and K and the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the joint statement".
"We have always rejected such references and our position is well known to China and Pakistan. In this instance too, we reject reference to J and K in the joint statement. The Union Territory of J and K and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been, are, and will always remain integral and inalienable parts of India," he added.
On CPEC, Bagchi said "we have consistently conveyed our concerns to China and Pakistan on the projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in India's territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan."
"We resolutely oppose any attempts to change the status quo by other countries, as also by Pakistan, in the areas under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon the parties concerned to cease such activities," he said The CPEC is part of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
India has been severely critical of the BRI as the USD 50 billion corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).