China ink MoU with Pak to build transport corridor passing through PoK
Chinese PM Li Keqiang, who recently concluded his India visit followed by two-day visit to Pakistan, signed an MoU with Pakistan which aims at formulating long term plan b/w both countries for the China-Pakistan economic corridor project and gradually push forward its construction.
What is India’s concern?
China is going ahead with the project which is expected to pass through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) despite objections from Indian side. In 2012, both China and Pak completed a pre-feasibility study for a railway line linking Kashgar, in Xinjiang, to Havelian, running through the Khunjerab Pass and PoK.
Why China is building the corridor?
China intends to link the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea in Pakistan (which it has recently gained from Pakistan for its development and management) to far western Xinjiang region of China. The corridor will speed up development in Xinjiang, which has seen intermittent unrest, and also open up a new route for China’s energy imports from West Asia.