India has expressed serious concern over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which is being built in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in violation of India's sovereignty.
Briefing the media on the issue on Friday, MEA spokesman Vikas Swarup said New Delhi has raised its concerns with both Pakistan and China, as the ''CPEC passes through sovereign Indian territory''.
Beijing plans to invest over $45 billion in CPEC – a joint venture of road and rail links - which connects western China with the Pakistani port of Gwadar near Karachi.
The venture has evoked a lot of reactions in India with some security analysts accusing China of encircling India to flex its geopolitical muscle in the region.
The project also passes through the restive Baluchistan province in Pakistan.
The Baloch people have been fighting for a sovereign homeland and have been accusing Islamabad of occupying their territory.
Popular public rebellion against the ''Pakistani occupation'' in the recent past were brutally crushed by the government, forcing many of their leaders to live in exile, including India and other countries.
Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan.
India's protest comes at a time when both Islamabad and Beijing are trying to legitimise construction work for the CPEC through Occupied Kashmir, which is an inalienable part of India.
Beijing wants India to accept the ''olive branch extended by Pakistan and join multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),'' according to an article in a China's state-run daily.
"Surprise aside, New Delhi should consider accepting the olive branch Pakistan has extended in a bid to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor," the article published in Global Times read.
The article referred to Commander of Pakistan Army's Southern Command, Lt Gen Amir Riaz's statement in which he had said if India shuns enmity with Pakistan, then it may also join the CPEC like Iran, Afghanistan and other states, and reap its fruits.
"The best way to reduce hostilities is by establishing economic cooperation based on mutual benefits to put aside what cannot be reached by a consensus," it said.
The article further said there was a possibility that an open attitude toward India joining the CPEC might quickly be overwhelmed by opposition voices from Pakistan if New Delhi did not respond in a timely manner to the general's overture.
India could boost its exports and slash its trade deficit with China via new trade routes that would be opened up by the CPEC, it added.