BEIJING (TIP): China on Thursday refused to give any guarantees that its investments in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir would not go up merely out of respect for Indian sensibilities. The signal came from the Chinese foreign ministry in midst of premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Pakistan after spending three days in India. “It’s for India and Pakistan to sort out their differences concerning Kashmir,” the foreign ministry spokesman said in reply to specific questions about why China was making investments in POK, which is claimed by India.
Premier Li has signed an agreement with Pakistan about building an economic corridor that would pass through POK. “On the issue of Kashmir, China’s position is clear and consistent. We hope India and Pakistan can should the relevant issue through dialogue,” said Hong Lei, the foreign ministry spokesman, in reply to a question about a border management agreement between China and Pakistan.
China’s border with Pakistan is really the POK region, and the border management programme between the two countries would prove to be a major stumbling block in India’s quest to reacquire the area, sources said. “The two sides should map out a plan for China- Pakistan economic corridor and make steady efforts to promote construction of the corridor so as to promote common development of the two countries,” Hong said.
Speaking on Li’s India visit, Hong said it resulted in an important agreement under which the two countries “agreed to make consensus the dominant element of their relations”. China and India have agreed to treat each other as partners instead of rivals, he said. Li did not avoid discussing difficult issues like the border, cross-border rivers and trade imbalance but requested India to properly manage differences in the larger interest of the two countries, the spokesman said.