China said on Wednesday that its multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was not targeted at “any third party”. In a reference to India’s opposition to the corridor plan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the initiative would rather “bring benefit for the third party”.

“It is an economic cooperation programme and it should not be politicised and has nothing to do with territorial disputes,” ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “This cooperation is not directed at any country and any party. The dialogue and cooperation should not be influenced or disturbed by any country.”

The statement came a day after Beijing said it was considering extending the corridor into Afghanistan. China announced the plan after a trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The economic corridor is part of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road project, which links it with other parts of Asia and Europe. Including Afghanistan on the route would help improve the country’s development, China had said.

India has reiterated repeatedly that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the One Belt, One Road project does not respect its territorial integrity. Parts of the corridor would run through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region.