China trying to revive silk route by violating Kashmir border: BJP

Jammu, Jan 15: The BJP Wednesday accused the central government of failing to check what it claimed to be China’s well-planned policy to take the benefit of ambiguity over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued here, Bharatiya Janata Party national executive member and chief spokesman Jitendra Singh said successive Congress governments in New Delhi, including the present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, is making no determined effort to redeem this ambiguity, despite recent incursions by the Chinese.

He claimed latest intelligence reports indicate that Beijing had worked out a definite strategy to revive what is popularly called the “silk route” or the traditional trade route of central and south Asia.

“This will amount to trespass of the northern areas of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir, including Gilgit Baltistan, presently under illegal occupation of China and Pakistan.

“The silk route is bound in the northeast by Tibet, further north by Xinjiang province of China, in the northwest by the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, in the west by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and further south by Punjab of Pakistan.

“This geographic layout is strategically important. For hundreds of years, Russian, Persian, Chinese, Tibetan and British Indian empires constantly sought access to this region to dominate each other.

“Even today, this ‘ancient axis of Asia’ provides a gateway for both India and China to central Asia,” he added.

Jitendra Singh said Beijing had recently allocated a huge budget to build infrastructure through highways connecting Tibet to Xinjiang through the Chinese- occupied Akshai Chin plateau and Xinjiang to Pakistan via the Karakoram highway through the Kunzreb pass.

This highway then connects Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, giving further access to the Indian Ocean.

“China has deployed more than 10,000 troops for the purpose of developing infrastructure in the area of Gilgit Baltistan which is de facto under its control since Pakistan is reported to have leased it out under the pretext of facilitating development.

“Curiously, the road construction work by China along the LAC is going on in clear violation of the agreed freeze on border area work between the two countries but New Delhi continues to remain unconcerned.

“China is a fast growing economy, looking for easy and inexpensive access to world market and its intrusive designs are motivated by this larger, long-term design,” he said.