Pakistan-China Economic Corridor Runs into Problems

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), January 12, 2016 | Go to article overview

Pakistan-China Economic Corridor Runs into Problems


Islamabad, Jan. 12 -- Pakistan's much publicised $46 billion economic corridor with China has run into rough weather, with Beijing expressing reservations over the development of the route across parts of Kashmir claimed by India.

The army has backed the civilian government on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, but opposition parties have expressed reservations over its route and frequent changes being made to it.

There are several legal issues on which the Chinese have expressed reservations, including the development of the route through the Gilgit-Baltistan region because it is seen as disputed territory with India.

Gilgit-Baltistan or the Northern Areas, which has been in dispute since the Partition, is claimed by India. The Chinese have expressed concerns about the legality of any work undertaken across territory that is the subject of an international dispute.

A senior Chinese official told the Pakistani media that "China cannot afford to invest billions of dollars on a road that passes through a disputed territory".

Opposition parties have threatened protests if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 's government ignores smaller provinces in favour of his home province of Punjab for the location of projects.

The Chinese government's patience has apparently been exhausted and a statement from the Chinese embassy in Islamabad, which broke its silence in an unusual move, shed light on Beijing's frustration at roadblocks placed by different quarters in Pakistan. …

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