Jaitley told the media in Japan, where he is attending deliberations of the Asian Development Bank, that the OBOR and its Pakistani component of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridors) raises sovereignty issues for India+ .
He said this even while pushing for more economic cooperation among Asian nations, underlining the specific issues surrounding the CPEC that is seen as a massive economic and political commitment by China in Pakistan but which raises Indian hackles as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“I have no hesitation in saying we have some serious reservations about it, because of sovereignty issues,” the minister was quoted as saying in a media report.
Despite China’s urging+ , India has so far not announced its participation+ in the Beijing meeting, ignoring the host’s arguments that staying away would isolate it.
India is part of other multilateral discussions with China on several fora such as BRICS and will soon be a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation but sees any endorsement of CPEC as prejudicial to its claim that the entire state of J&K is Indian territory.
The CPEC is, however, posing some challenges to China with concerns that it might have “over-invested” in the project as it faces a serious threat from terror groups currently fighting the Pakistan army. For Pakistan, the corridor is another example of China’s increasing dominance in its economic and diplomatic affairs.
In return for the investments in Pakistan’s economy, China expects its all-weather ally to regularly act as its proxy and oppose any criticism of Beijing in developing nation forums.