Many Belts and Many Roads

Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.

On October 3, U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis commented on China’s Belt and Road initiative during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Chinese and Pakistani officials were quick to defend their flagship route, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Regarding ‘One Belt, One Road,’ I think in a globalized world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘One Belt, One Road.’ That said, the ‘One Belt, One Road’ also goes through disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate.”

— James N. Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense

“We have repeatedly reiterated that the CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative that is not directed against third parties and has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes and does not affect China’s principled stance on the Kashmir issue.”

— Chinese Foreign Ministry

“The One Belt, One Road is against devastation caused by war and menace of terrorism. Regional states can get economic benefit from this project.”

— Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan Interior Minister

“Suddenly the U.S., courtesy of India, in silly/shortsighted U-turn, discovers ‘disputed territory’ in the context of OBOR, to justify opposing China,”

— Mushahid Hussain Syed, Pakistan Senator and Chairman of the CPEC Parliamentary Committee

“CPEC is a project for development and prosperity of the region and welfare of the people…As for the Kashmir dispute, efforts need to be made to implement the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, that call for a UN-supervised plebiscite to enable Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination,”

— Nafees Zakaria, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson

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