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China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in restive Balochistan

Hu noted the growing defence cooperation between India and the US was also a worrying factor of China

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Nathu La Pass, India China border. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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– by Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, August 28, 2016: China will have “to get involved” if any Indian “plot” disrupts the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in restive Balochistan, an influential Chinese think tank has warned India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech is the “latest concern” for China and among its scholars, Hu Shisheng, the Director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), told IANS in a freewheeling interview.

The researcher, at one of China’s most powerful think tanks, which is affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, also said India’s growing military ties with the US and its changed attitude on the disputed South China Sea are ringing alarm bells for China.

“The latest concern for China is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the Red Fort in which he referred to the issues like Kashmir (occupied by Pakistan) and Balochistan,” Hu said.

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“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,” he added.

Hu said China fears India may use “anti-government” elements in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan where Beijing is building the $46 billion CPEC — a key to the success of its ambitious One Road One Belt project.

“There is concern that India may take the same approach, which is believed by the Indian side Pakistan is taking, asymmetrically using anti-government factors in Pakistan,” Hu said on the expansive and leafy campus of CICIR.

“If this kind of plot causes damage to the CPEC, China will have to get involved,” he said, referring to the alleged involvement of India in backing separatists in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The ongoing CPEC will connect China’s largest province, Xinjiang, with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan, hit by rebels and separatists. India has strongly opposed the corridor as it will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir which it claims as its own.

Islamabad has long accused India of fomenting trouble in this region — a charge denied by New Delhi.

However, Modi’s reference to the region, experts say, is a signal to Pakistan that New Delhi could raise tensions in the region as a tit for tat for Pakistan’s backing for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This will not help Pakistan to become a normal country. And it will also further disturb India-China relations,” Hu pointed out.

ChinaPakistanEconomicCorridor Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
ChinaPakistanEconomicCorridor
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hu noted the growing defence cooperation between India and the US was also a worrying factor of China.

“In the past, China was not so much concerned about India’s security cooperation with other countries, especially with the US. But now Chinese scholars can feel the concern,” Hu said.

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He said the defence cooperation between New Delhi and Washington had increased significantly after Modi took over as Prime Minster.

He also referred to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to India in April during which both the countries agreed in principle to sign the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

“There is a 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.

“This is an alarming signal to China. It is a concern for China,” the expert said.

He also said India will have to resist pressure exerted by the US and Japan to join them in countering China. “We also know that the US and Japan, as well as Australia, are very keen on getting India in their camp. They are also exerting pressure”.

“They are also luring India by giving high-technology deals and advanced military weapons. It is up to India whether India can resist this kind of temptation,” Hu said.

India’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute was another irritant in the already strained relationship between India and China, Hu added.

“In the past, India’s stand on the South China Sea was impartial. Indian is getting more and more involved. This attitude is another concern for China,” noted Hu.

“We know that India has a national interest in maintaining freedom of navigation and aviation, but China in the past has done nothing to block the so-called freedom of navigation.”

“Our problem is with the US. We can see India is becoming more vocal in issuing joint statements with the US and Japan on the South China Sea,” he added.

A UN court in July rejected China’s claims over the so-called Nine-Dash line — which covers almost 90 percent of the contested South China Sea — and backed the Philippines which has overlapping claims in the oil and natural gas-rich waters, which are also partly claimed by Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

Beijing rejected the verdict as “illegal”.

India, 55 per cent of whose trade passes through the Strait of Malacca that opens into the South China Sea, has asked the parties to peacefully resolve the dispute and show utmost respect to the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea. (IANS)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)