An influential Chinese think tank has issued a stern warning to India saying that China will have “to get involved” if any Indian “plot” disrupts the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in restive Balochistan.
Chinese and Pakistani soldiers en.people.cn
In an interview, Hu Shisheng, the Director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech is the “latest concern” for China and among its scholars.
The research institute is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
It said China is also deeply concerned over India’s changed attitude on the disputed South China Sea and its growing military ties with the US.
$46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor defence.pk
Hu said the latest concern for India’s neighbor is PM Modi’s Independence Day speech in which he referred to issues like Kashmir (occupied by Pakistan) and Balochistan.
“It could be regarded as a watershed moment in India’s policy towards Pakistan. Why Chinese scholars are concerned is because this is for the first time India has mentioned it,” he added.
Hu expressed China’s fears that India may use “anti-government” elements in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan where CPEC is being built.
Alleging involvement of India in backing separatists in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, he said such an approach causes damage to the CPEC and China will have to get involved.
Gwadar port evolvemagazine
The ongoing CPEC will connect China’s largest province, Xinjiang, with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan. India has strongly opposed the corridor as it will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir which it claims as its own.
Hu said Modi’s reference to the region, signals that New Delhi could raise tensions in the region as a tit for tat for Pakistan’s backing for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. This he said will also further disturb India-China relations. Hu noted the growing defence cooperation between India and the US was also a worrying factor of China.
He said the defence cooperation between New Delhi and Washington had increased significantly after Modi took over as prime minister.
He also said India will have to resist pressure exerted by the US and Japan to join them in countering China. “They are also luring India by giving high-technology deals and advanced military weapons. It is up to India whether India can resist this kind of temptation,” Hu said.