China’s multi-billion dollar investment in PoK does not mean it supports Pakistan’s sovereignty over the area, a top Chinese South Asia expert said today.
“Do not think that our presence or economic activities in PoK means our support to their (Pakistan’s) sovereignty request. If India opens its side of Kashmir, Chinese companies will be happy to invest there,” Ye Hailin, South Asia expert with the government-affiliated Institute of International Strategy Studies, said.
He said China was making only investments in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir to develop trade relations with Islamabad and it would be more than happy to invest money in the Indian side of Kashmir.
Speaking to a group of Indian journalists here, Ye said mere investment in PoK by his country did not mean that China fully accepts Pakistan’s sovereignty over that area and believes that Kashmir is a disputed territory.
“If in future, Pakistan and India solve their dispute over Kashmir, we will be on our commitment no matter at that time the region is controlled by which side,” Ye said.
If the Indian side of Kashmir also opens its market to Chinese companies we will be happy, he said.
China is investing in an ambitious USD 46 billion strategic economic corridor linking China’s northwestern Xinjiang to Gwadar port that passes through PoK.
The CPEC is the Pakistan’s biggest road and rail project.
Discussing the ongoing conflict with neighbouring countries over the control of South China Sea, Ye said his country has the rightful claim over the South China Sea.