China has rejected a report claiming that it had been engaged in low-key dialogue with Baloch separatists for over five years in a bid to secure the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Pakistan.
According to the Financial Times report, published earlier this week, three people had shared details of Beijing being in direct contact with militants in Balochistan.
“I have never heard of such things as you mentioned,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Thursday when asked if Beijing was involved in a dialogue with Baloch militants to safeguard its investment in Pakistan.
“The Chinese and the Pakistani governments have been working in coordination on security matters regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he added.
China in talks with Baloch separatists: report
Expressing satisfaction over security measures taken by Pakistan to protect the CPEC-related projects and Chinese citizens, Shuang said: “We appreciate that Pakistan has already taken a series of important measures for the effective protection of the CPEC projects and Chinese citizens.
He went on to say, “We hope and believe that the Pakistani side will continue with these efforts to ensure the safety of the CPEC.”
Beijing has so far maintained a policy of non-intervention in the domestic politics of other countries.
However, the sheer magnitude and scale of its multifaceted investments in all windows of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project had sharpened security sensibilities, said the FT report, adding that the vision to create a “new Silk Road” of trade routes in Europe, Asia and Africa had led China to venture into conflict management.