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'Will get involved if India stirs up trouble in Balochistan', Chinese think tank warns

A protester in Pakistan pointing a gun towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi following his statement over the restive Balochistan. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Beijing China Aug 28, 2016, 10.38 AM (IST)
China will "have to get involved if any Indian plot disrupts the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan's Balochistan", a Chinese Think Tank was reported saying.

The statement came following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern  over the restive Balochistan.

Hu Shisheng, Director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), affiliated with the country's Ministry of State Security, said that India's growing military ties with the US and its changed attitude on the disputed South China Sea were not welcomed by China.

"It could be regarded as a watershed moment in India's policy towards Pakistan. Why Chinese scholars are concerned is because this is for the first time India has mentioned it," Hu said.

He said that China was concerned about India using "anti-government" elements in Balochistan where Beijing is building the $46 billion CPEC -- crucial to the success of its One Road One Belt project.

"India may take the same approach that it believes Pakistan is taking, asymmetrically using anti-government factors in Pakistan," Hu said.

"If this kind of plot causes damage to the CPEC, China will have to get involved," he said.

The CPEC will connect China's largest province, Xinjiang, with Pakistan's Gwadar port in Balochistan, marked by rebels and separatists. India has opposed the corridor as it will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir which India calls its own.

Hu pointed that the defence cooperation between New Delhi and Washington had increased significantly after Modi took over as Prime Minster, also referring to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's visit to India in April.

"There is renewal of defence and technological cooperation (between India and the US) for another 10 years, enhancing the cooperation under the framework of DTTI (Defence Technology and Trade Initiative)," Hu added.

India must resist pressure from the US and Japan in countering China, he said.

A UN court had in July rejected China's claims over the the Nine-Dash line -- which covers almost 90 per cent of the contested South China Sea -- and backed the Philippines which has overlapping claims in the waters, also partly claimed by Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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