CPEC a challenge to India’s sovereignty: Army chief

Srinagar: Indian army chief has said that China continues to enhance its influence in the regional security environment.

“It is doing so by increasing defence and economic partnerships in the neighbourhood, especially in Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) challenges India’s sovereignty,” General Bipin Rawat said in Bihar on Saturday.

He slammed Pakistan for “waging a proxy war” in Jammu and Kashmir and said the “increasing presence of transnational actors with fundamental ideologies” in that country is a matter of “grave concern”.

“Pakistan’s unabated reliance and support to Jihadi groups have serious ramifications. This can lead to the possibility of Pakistan being a conduit for the eastward spread of fundamentalist and the Islamic ideology. This lends a complex dimension to the threat not only for us, but also for other countries of South and East Asia, including China,” Rawat said.

He was delivering the General B C Joshi Memorial Lecture on ‘India’s Challenges in the Current Geo-Strategic Construct’ organised by the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune this evening.

He charged China of attempting to “change the status quo” on its border with India and said, “incidents like the ongoing standoff in the Doklam area are likely to increase in future.”

“The recent stand-off in the Doklam plateau by the Chinese side attempting to change the status quo are issues which we need to be wary about, and I think such kind of incidents are likely to increase in the future,” Rawat said.


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