China and Pakistan's CPEC invite to other nations unacceptable: India
"We have seen reports on encouraging a proposed participation of third countries in so-called CPEC projects. Any such actions by any party directly infringe on India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
India on Tuesday hit back at China and Pakistan after the duo invited countries to join the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and said that the activities which are being carried out are inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable.
In response to media queries, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: "We have seen reports encouraging proposed participation of third countries in so-called CPEC projects. Any such actions by any party directly infringe on India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that Pakistan has illegally occupied, Bagchi added.
Days ago, Pakistan and its all-weather ally China decided to invite 'interested' third countries to join the CPEC projects. They had called it 'an open and inclusive platform' for mutually-beneficial cooperation.
The projects, launched in 2013, connect Pakistan's Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
On July 22, the CPEC Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC) held its third meeting in virtual format to review the continued implementation of the CPEC and its expansion to the jointly agreed priority areas. A statement issued by their foreign offices said that the CPEC had broken new ground in strengthening international and regional connectivity, especially in the context of its extension to Afghanistan.
Since its launching, New Delhi has been registering a strong protest over the projects as they are being built through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Promoted by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the CPEC is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), worth $60 billion. While the two allies complement the projects, there are several Western and Indian experts who have termed the CPEC an economic debt trap.