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27 Sep 2020, 08:59 HRS IST
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  • US backs India on OBOR, says it crosses 'disputed' territory

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18:58 HRS IST

(Eds: Updating with additional inputs)

By Lalit K Jha

Washington, Oct 4 (PTI)
The Trump administration on Wednesday threw its weight behind India's opposition to China's ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying the USD 50 billion project passes through "disputed territory" and no country should dictate the Belt and Road initiative

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), over which India has conveyed its protests to China. The area covers Karakoram mountain ranges, including the Siachen glacier

"In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating 'one belt, one road'," US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing

"That said, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) also goes through disputed territory, and I think, that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate," Mattis said apparently referring to India's position on CPEC

Mattis was responding to a question from Senator Charles Peters over OBOR and China's policy

"The One Belt One Road strategy seeks to secure China's control over both the continental and the maritime interest, in their eventual hope of dominating Eurasia and exploiting natural resources there, things that are certainly at odds with US policy. So what role do you see China playing in Afghanistan, and particularly related to their One Belt One Road?" Peter asked Mattis

India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in May this year due to its sovereignty concerns over the CPEC, a flagship project of China's prestigious Silk Road project, officially called OBOR

The 3,000-km-long CEPC is aimed at connecting the China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fiber network. It connects China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan Gwadar port, providing access to China to the Arabian Sea

The project, when completed, would enable China to pump its oil supplies from the Middle East through pipelines to Xinjiang cutting considerable distance for Chinese ships to travel to China.

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