China denies holding talks with Baloch militants to safeguard CPEC
“I have never heard the report mentioned by you,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a media briefing when asked about the report by British newspaper Financial Times.
Quoting three officials, the daily said China had been in direct contact with militants in the south-western province, where many of the scheme’s most important projects are located.
It connects China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the volatile Balochistan where Baloch nationalists have staged a number of attacks.
Pakistan army has raised a special force to protect thousands of Chinese nationals working on different projects.
Refuting the Financial Times story, Geng said, “I want to emphasise that the China and Pakistan governments have maintained consultation on the security of CPEC. Pakistan has taken a series of measures on this effectively safeguard the security CPEC and Chinese citizens. China highly appreciates this.”
The reported direct approach by China was seen as a marked departure from its stated policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other countries.
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