A senior editor with a leading Chinese daily has urged India to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying it can reduce New Delhi-Islamabad tensions.
“If New Delhi joins and contributes to Beijing’s infrastructural initiative, this will help alleviate tensions and confrontations between India and Pakistan,” Ding Gang, a senior editor with People’s Daily, said in an opinion piece published by Global Times.
“More importantly, the initiative can enhance local people’s living standards,” he added.
India has refused to join Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative citing sovereignty concerns as the CPEC will run through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, a region New Delhi claims.
India worries the CPEC project will infringe upon its sovereignty.
But Ding said that border disputes, including those between China and India, were often the result of “unreasonable colonial orders and many remain unsettled after decades.
“Military clashes are frequently seen in Kashmir, causing casualties on both sides.
“Now it’s time to change the old way of solving these issues.
“As conflicts persist and no new rules are adopted, why can’t we put these issues aside and pursue a project or programme that is based on consensus as the first step to establish mutual trust?”
Ding said: “A responsible government has no reason to keep these innocent civilians enduring such ordeals.
“Development is the solution to various issues. If the Indian government can take a step forward, even a small one, it will be written into the annals of history.”
Ding is also currently a senior Fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.