–China lauds Pakistan’s firm commitment towards smooth implementation of CPEC
ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the economic future of Pakistan and there will be no compromise on its security.
According to a statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa gave the assurance during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing during which matters of mutual interests and regional security were discussed.
“Ambassador appreciated conduct of successful visit of Chinese foreign minister and support for CPEC in Pakistan,” the military’s media wing said.
The development comes a day after a report in the London-based Financial Times newspaper that quoted some cabinet ministers as saying that Islamabad is considering renegotiating some agreements signed with Beijing under the multi-billion dollar One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. Both countries had reacted angrily to the report.
While commenting on the Financial Times’ report about the CPEC, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “We have noticed the relevant reports and also noted that on September 10, the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce issued a statement saying that the Pakistani officials quoted by the Financial Times were out of context and distorted the original intention, and the Pakistani side refused to acknowledge the report.
The statement had also pointed out that during the recent visit to Pakistan by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the Pakistani side clearly stated that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a priority for Pakistan.
“The Pakistan-China relationship is unbreakable, and the Pakistani government’s commitment to the CPEC remains unwavering,” he added.
As far as he knows, the spokesperson added, the Pakistani side has set up a nine-member committee to evaluate the CPEC project.
The committee has been constituted by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to evaluate CPEC – the most ambitious part of BRI. The $62 billion-initiative includes a grand revamp of Gwadar, road rail links and power plants worth US$30 billion.
The purpose is to strengthen the docking with the Chinese side, speed up the construction of the corridor, and make the construction results better benefit the ordinary people of Pakistan, rather than delaying the construction of the corridor.
“It is beyond doubt that the CPEC is a major economic cooperation project carried out in response to the needs of the Pakistani side. The construction of the economic corridor has a good driving effect on the economic and social development of Pakistan,” he added.
At present, Geng Shuang said, “There are 22 cooperative projects under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, 9 of which have been completed and 13 are under construction, with a total investment of 19 billion US dollars, driving the annual economic growth of Pakistan by 1 to 2 percentage points, and creating 70,000 jobs for Pakistan. These results are real and obvious to all.”
Moreover, China lauded the Pakistani nation’s and government’s firm commitment towards the smooth implementation of the CPEC that is considered as a game-changer project for the well-being of the people.
During the visit of State Councilor Wang Yi to Pakistan, the president, prime minister and foreign minister of Pakistan had categorically stated that the CPEC is a landmark project of economic cooperation between the two countries and has already and will continue to bring tangible benefits to the Palestinian people.
The new government in Pakistan is committed to comprehensively deepening the construction of the project and is willing to cooperate fully with China to build this project.
During the visit, both China and Pakistan also reached a new important consensus on better promoting the construction of the corridor.
The two sides agreed to negotiate and determine the future development path and cooperation direction of the corridor according to the next economic and social development priorities of the Pakistani side and the needs of the people.
“The two sides also agreed that corridor construction can absorb third-party participation and benefit the entire region,” added Geng Shuang.
The spokesperson stressed once again that the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is open, inclusive, open and transparent, and pursues the principle of sharing, building and sharing.
In the past five years, the “Belt and Road Initiative” has become an important international cooperation platform and an important international public product for promoting multilateralism and economic globalisation.
At present, more than 130 countries and international organisations have signed “One Belt and One Road” cooperation documents with China. If the “Belt and Road” is really geopolitically considered as some people have described, facing many risk challenges and causing various crisis traps, then it will not be so popular, it will not be so sought after, and progress will not be so.
“All in all, we welcome all like-minded countries to participate in the construction of the “Belt and Road” to jointly promote regional connectivity, development and prosperity, and better benefit the people of all countries,” he concluded.