China today defended its ambitious 46 billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC project, saying the initiative was aimed at improving livelihood of people in the area and will not affect Beijing’s stand on the Kashmir issue.
Reacting to a motion tabled in the UK parliament condemning Pakistan’s arbitrary move to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province, China said its position on the issue of Kashmir is consistent.
Commenting on the motion, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it, was a motion moved by a member and not a resolution. Beijing said, Kashmir is an issue between India and Pakistan, left over from history and it should be properly handled by them through dialogue and consultation.
Pakistan media reports had said, the move to incorporate Gilgit-Baltistan as new province after seven decades of independence followed pressure from China over the disputed status of the two areas which formed part of the CPEC.