Home Russia & China China Will India calm down after China’s clarification over military designs in Pakistan?

Will India calm down after China’s clarification over military designs in Pakistan?

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Pakistan’s longstanding ally, China has categorically rubbished rumors that it had military designs in its mind, in the development of multi-billion Dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor that runs from Chinese region of Xinjiang to Gwadar and offers a broad maritime corridor for exchange of goods between China, Europe, Middle East and East Africa.

The clarification must be a sigh of relief for New Delhi, more than for Islamabad because the former was wary of the reports regarding the establishment of a military base in Gwadar that could have endangered the hegemony of India in the territorial waters.

India – which harbors animosity against Pakistan ever since its inception – has been targeting the corridor directly through verbal assaults and indirectly through Research & Intelligence Wing operatives like Kulbhushan Jadhav.

In an interview with Voice of America, Yao Jing, Chinese ambassador to Islamabad, clarified that CPEC was purely a commercial development project, inviting India and United States to visit witness the project on the ground, for putting an end to their misunderstandings.

Read more: Map of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Projects

Reiterating that defense cooperation between Pakistan and China had existed for decades, the official made it clear that China did not want to make CPEC as such a kind of platform.

Although Islamabad and Beijing had not expressed suspicions regarding the rumored military aspects of the corridor, the senior official of Narendra Modi government had been casting aspirations over the strategic location of the corridor, fearing that Pakistan-China nexus might dent its defense capabilities, especially when it is already engaged in a tiff with China over the Doklam region.

Pakistan and China have both negated, for multiple, times, the establishment of any naval base in Jiwani, some 60-km from Gwadar port, however, besides New Delhi, Washington, has also been apprehensive of China’s military designs and in a report published in June last year, Pentagon claimed that China could erect new military bases in countries, including Pakistan.

“China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries,” the report said, which was denied by Beijing.

The clarification must be a sigh of relief for New Delhi, more than for Islamabad because the former was wary of the reports regarding the establishment of a military base in Gwadar that could have endangered the hegemony of India in the territorial waters.

Interestingly, the Pak-China venture in the form of CPEC has produced new aspects of rivalry for Pakistan. India – which harbors animosity against Pakistan ever since its inception – has been targeting the corridor directly through verbal assaults and indirectly through Research & Intelligence Wing operatives like Kulbhushan Jadhav. Moreover, the United States has also come in open against the corridor, taking the same plea as India.

Read more: Pakistan-China institute and ACCA Pakistan launch research report on the economic…

In October last year, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the One Belt One Road initiative – now Belt and Road initiative – ran through disputed territory.

Besides the military angle of the Pak-China friendship, India is also afraid of strengthening ties between Pakistan and China in the commercial domain, especially in the backdrop of development at Gwadar port.While Pakistan is striving hard to develop its Gwadar port, India has started looking towards the development of the Chabahar port.

Under the deal made in 2016 between Iran and India, New Delhi is to equip and operate two berths in the first phase with a capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease. In total, India had pledged to invest over $500 million to develop the port of Chabahar which is 1,800 kilometers from the capital Tehran and around 900 kilometers from Gwadar.

However, as India is embroiled in internal conflicts and apparently finding it hard to counter Pak-China collaboration under CPEC through Afghanistan-India-Iran-run Chabahar, it has stalled the progress on the port, a visible indication of which is Iran Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif’s comment in April last week, that Tehran would welcome Chinese and Pakistani investment in Chabahar.

New Delhi would keep on raising the issue in days to come, in a bid to pitch China against the United States, while both are already engaged in a trade war, for just to cease the development of China Economic Pakistan Corridor.

The role of New Delhi – which accuses Pakistan of stoking terrorism inside India – becomes vividly suspicious as the activists inside Pakistan’s violence-battered province Balochistan have admitted India’s backing and support for subversive activities in Pakistan.

Read more: Did dropping Pakistan support lead to China becoming Vice President of…

Even last week, Ahmer Mustikhan, prominent Baloch activist, revealed the nefarious designs of RAW by stating that its operative, Nagesh Bhushan, worked on the Indian spy agency’s Balochistan Desk.

So, as a matter of facts, India is looking for new international partners in form of Canada and France – which also support its Nuclear Suppliers Group bid – but it is also trying to stave off the economic revolution unfolding in South-Asia in the form of CPEC.

The apprehensions of military designs shown by India seem to be baseless, however, probably; New Delhi would keep on raising the issue in days to come, in a bid to pitch China against the United States, while both are already engaged in a trade war, for just to cease the development of China Economic Pakistan Corridor.

 


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