‘US, China not big enough to put India in their pocket’
“CPEC is a dream and an illusion being sold by China that always aspired to be the Middle Kingdom and hoped the entire world should come and pay obeisance. Pakistan has agreed to this and we at best are only thinking about it.”
Srinagar, Oct 31:
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Rajiv Kumar said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would not have much impact on India.
“I don’t see how it will impact India,” he said talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by a New Delhi-based socio-economic consulting company, BRIEF.
Pakistan is currently building the warm-water, deep-sea Gwadar Port with the assistance of China that is investing a whopping 46 billion US dollars on CPEC linking Gwadar Port with the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China.
CPEC is the Chinese dream of ‘One Belt, One Road’ and Gwadar holds the key to improve China’s connectivity with South, West, Central and East Asia, which would in turn have implications in limiting India’s outreach to the critical Eurasian region.
Referring to the statement of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Principal Secretary and National Security Adviser, Brajesh Chandra Mishra, the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said, “Mr. Mishra told the Chinese in my presence that no country in the world is big enough to put India in its pocket, neither the United States nor China.”
Stressing that he does not see CPEC as an Indian issue or an Indian problem, he said it was a highway designed by China for fulfilling its centuries-old ambition to have access to the warm water ports.
“China has had no access on this side and on the other side in South East China, it has got very big bottlenecks, which can be blocked very easily,” Kumar said. “This is an attempt by them made since the times of Ming dynasty and Czar’s times when Afghanistan war was going on.”
He said CPEC was a dream and an illusion that was being sold by China that always aspired to be the Middle Kingdom and hoped the entire world should come and pay obeisance.
“Pakistan has agreed to this and we at best are only thinking about it,” the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said.
For countering the influence that Gwadar Port would have on the future of economics in the region, New Delhi is actively involved in the construction of Chabahar Port, 72 km west of Gwadar.
Chabahar Port in the Sistan-Balochistan province in Iran’s southern coast lies outside the Persian Gulf which is easily accessed from India’s western coast bypassing Pakistan.
New Delhi entered into a deal with Tehran to develop the strategic Chabahar Port to gain access to the Middle East and Central Asia and to counter Pakistan and China’s plan to develop Gwadar Port.
India has committed a 400 million US dollar investment in steel to construction of the railway connecting Chabahar and Zahedan, near Afghan border.
Kumar said by venturing into CPEC, Pakistan had decided to become a client state of China.
“The driving force for them is not Pakistan’s love for China but to counter India which until 1980s, they did with the US support,” he said. “Now they want to leverage China.”