China defends Pakistan corridor, opposes India’s oil exploration in South China Sea

China has rejected India’s objections over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor running through the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying it is a livelihood project with issues left over from history.

On May 31, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed India’s objection to China over the CPEC project when he met Chinese leaders in Beijing last month.

Beijing has also dismissed Mr Modi’s proposal to clarify the Line of Actual Control that serves as a de facto border between the two nations, saying it would rather prefer a pact with India on a code of conduct to maintain peace along the border. Both countries should reach an agreement on a code of conduct, as the attempts to clarify the boundary have failed in past, it said.

Speaking to an Indian media delegation in Beijing, Huang Xilian, Deputy Director General of the Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, said that both India and China advocate freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and the two countries are on the same page on it.

The Chinese official said that India will object if a Chinese company goes to the disputed area claimed by another nation, similarly, China opposes India’s ONGC participation in oil exploration in the wells in the South China Sea (SCS) claimed by Vietnam.

Vietnam has awarded the oil exploration contracts to ONGC, eliciting strong protests from Beijing. India has, however, defended the move, saying the projects were purely for commercial purposes.

China claims most of the South China Sea, which overlaps claims of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

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