Beijing: China on Tuesday said its position on Kashmir is “clear cut—the issue is a legacy issue from history,” as it brushed aside India’s concerns about a proposed Economic Corridor through Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
On Tuesday, China and Pakistan held a meeting to finalise the multi-billion dollar project as President Mamnoon Hussain arrived here on an official visit.
The second meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the Economic Corridor coincided with the Pakistani President’s first foreign trip since he assumed office last year. During his four-day visit, Hussain will hold talks with top Chinese leaders like President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
“It is an item on the agenda,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing while answering a question on India’s concerns about the 2,000-km China-Pakistan Economic Corridor planned to be constructed through PaK.
“On India’s concerns, I understand it is about the Kashmir issue. China’s position on this issue is clear cut. The Kashmir issue is a legacy issue from history,” she said.
“We hope the two sides (India and Pakistan) will follow the spirit of peace, appropriately deal with (the issue through) dialogue and consultation.” Hua said. “May be you have known, the vision of the economic corridor is a very important agreement between the two leaders.”
The corridor “will benefit hundreds of millions of people” and “enjoys huge potential for development”, she said, defending China’s decision to go ahead with the project.
The corridor will link China’s Muslim Uygur-majority Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port to provide road access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
“It also likely to become a new highlight of bilateral cooperation. It not only benefits our two countries but also enhances connectivity between South Asia and East Asia,” Hua said. The project will set a good example for regional cooperation, she added.
During his visit, Hussain will hold talks with President Xi Jinping. He will also meet Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders before leaving for Shanghai. The two sides are expected to sign a number of other agreements.—PTI