Issuing a detailed response to the China-Pakistan joint statement that was issued during Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing on Wednesday, New Delhi said on Thursday that references to Jammu & Kashmir were “unwarranted” and criticised plans to build more projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), with possible extensions to Afghanistan, under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“CPEC includes projects on the sovereign territory of India under forcible and illegal external occupation... Any attempts to involve third parties in such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable, and will be treated as such by us,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, calling the infrastructure projects an attempt to “change the status quo” in POK.

After the Sharif-Li talks, the joint statement issued in Beijing on Wednesday, also called for “sincere dialogue” to resolve the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, and said that the resolution should be based on “the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”.

“The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh are and always will be integral and inalienable parts of India. No other country has locus standi to comment on the same,” Mr. Bagchi said, slamming the references, particularly to the UN Security Council resolutions, that India has “consistently” rejected.

In another contentious reference, the China-Pakistan joint statement criticised the “politicisation” of counter-terror issues, a possible reference to India’s attempts at terror designations at the UNSC.

“The two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and expressed opposition to the politicization of the issue of counter terrorism. China recognized Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism,” the statement said.

Apart from the stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India-China relations have been under strain due to China’s decision to place “holds” on India’s designation proposals for five Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad commanders on the UNSC 1267 list of terrorists. In response to questions about the statement on terrorism, Mr. Bagchi said that India has made its position on the terror listings, and on its expectations from Pakistan on terrorism quite clear, and that most of the international community, “with one or two exceptions”, accepts the same positions.

On Wednesday, China and Pakistan issued the joint statement after talks between Mr. Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a visit to Beijing, where Mr. Sharif also met Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the two sides agreed to cooperate more on developing the CPEC. Speaking about the need to increase humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan, Mr. Sharif and Mr. Li had also spoken about extending the CPEC and connecting it to projects across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. India has refused to be a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, taking particular exception to the CPEC part of the framework, and earlier this week, attending an SCO meeting hosted by China, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had reiterated India’s opposition to connectivity projects that ignore sovereignty and territorial concerns.