China has rejected the objections raised by the US over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) saying that its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative was backed by the UN.
“We have repeatedly reiterated that CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative that is not directed against third parties and has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes and does not affect China’s principled stance on the Kashmir issue,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It added that over 70 countries and international organisations which had signed cooperation agreements with China on OBOR, including the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, have incorporated it in their important resolutions.
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“Over 130 countries and more than 70 international organisations sent representatives to attend the international cooperation summit – ‘Belt and Road Forum’, organised by China here in May and spoke highly of the initiative,” it noted.
“This fully explains that the OBOR initiative is in line with the trend of the times and conforms to the rules of development and is in line with the interests of the people of all countries and has a broad and bright prospects for development.”
Earlier this week,US Defence Secretary James Mattis had appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said OBOR passed through a disputed territory – a claim originally made by India.
“I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” he maintained.
“In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘one belt, one road’,” he added.
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CPEC passes through Pakistani territory, which India claims is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, the chairman of CPEC Parliamentary Committee, also rejected the US’ objections over OBOR with a series of tweets.
He reminded the US that it itself had participated in an OBOR summit. He also told the US administration that former president Barack Obama had opposed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank but had failed and more of this “short-nearsightedness” will result in failure too.
He also noted that following the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, US contractors had built Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir. Why was there no reference to a “disputed territory” back then, he asked.