On China’s ‘CPEC routes via JK’, Mehbooba says ‘need to rediscover trade routes of Kashmir’ 

Chinese envoy Lou Zhaohui, in New Delhi had said that China may consider alternative routes through Jammu and Kashmir to address India’s concerns regarding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through the disputed territories of erstwhile JK.

Reacting to the news Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that it ‘reinforces the need to rediscover traditional trade routes of Kashmir’. She added that it will open up avenues for greater economic ties and cultural exchanges, in a statement on micro blogging site twitter.

In an interaction with experts on Chinese affairs and students, Beijing’s envoy Luo Zhaohui had suggested the alternative routes, and said he was keen on accomplishing a bilateral friendship and trade treaty during his stint in India.

“We can change the name of CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor]. Create an alternative corridor through Jammu and Kashmir, Nathu La pass or Nepal to deal with India’s concerns,” said the envoy in a speech at the Centre for Chinese and South-East Asian Studies in the School of Language, in New Delhi on Friday.

The Ambassador made a detailed presentation of the expectations on both sides and said that while the Dalai Lama’s presence and activities remain an issue for China, Beijing recognised that India’s expectations on the CPEC and Masood Azhar were also issues that both sides need to be deal with.

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