CPEC flagship project, Pakistan welcomes other countries’ participation: Ambassador Haque

CPEC has now been opened with the consensus of Pakistan and China to third country participation and we welcome other countries to participate in this transformational project


BEIJING, Pakistan welcomes other countries to participate in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as it is not only beneficial for Pakistan, but for the entire region, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque said on Wednesday.


“CPEC has now been opened with the consensus of Pakistan and China to third country participation and we welcome other countries to participate in this transformational project,”


About the joining of regional countries to the CPEC, he said that Afghanistan is already participating. Recently, a shipment from Afghanistan was cleared from Gwadar port.


He said that infrastructure and connectivity projects can also take place between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan and emphasized that it will help peace and stability in Afghanistan also.


Ambassador Haque said that India never accepted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and never joined it.


Updating on CPEC, he said, it was going very smoothly and steadily, adding, “We have completed the early harvest phase in which we have focused on infrastructure and energy projects and development of Gwadar Port which has helped Pakistan not only upgrade its road and communication network but it helped Pakistan addressed acute shortage of electricity”.


In energy sector, he said that nine projects amounting to US $18 billion have been completed and which have inject 5300 MW of electricity into national grid and three more electricity projects of about 3000 MW are in the pipeline which was essential for the industry and consumers and common household.


In second phase, we are focusing on those areas which touch people he said and added, the BRI as a whole project is a people centric project as it has been embraced by 130 countries because it is development-oriented and is helping people lives and bringing new jobs and opportunities and upgrading infrastructure and the CPEC is doing the same thing.


Ambassador Haque said that CPEC has helped develop remote areas of Pakistan, create, jobs and upgraded skills of the people.


He said that a agriculture and socioeconomic development was very important part of the CPEC Phase-II, so it was completely in line with the development agenda of the Pakistani government.


Terming Pakistan and China partnership and relationship as a factor of peace and stability in the region, he said the relationship between Pakistan and China are unique and special and in thick or thin, rain or shine, the two countries have always stood together.


“That is why we call it all weather strategic cooperative partnership.”


He said this relationship has been constant irrespective of changes of any governments in the two countries and irrespective of changes of any regional or international development.


So, this is the testimony of successive leadership, successive generations of people that has given this relationship a new meaning and significant.


Ambassador Haque said that this year marks 70 years of establishment of bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China, a very important milestone for our two countries.


He said that every phase of our relationship is important during last 70 years which gave a new vitality of our relationship.


We established diplomatic relations in 1951 the first high level contact between our two countries was in 1955 and Premier Zhou En Lai met our then Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra in Bandung, Indonesia.


And, the first contact laid the foundation for future relationship when in next year Premier Zhou En Lai visited Pakistan and people of Pakistan were impressed by his sagacity, simplicity and charisma and very positive outlook for the future relations.


He said that Premier Zho En Lai visited Pakistan four times later on and he became a household name in Pakistan.


He said that Pakistan and China signed a boundary agreement and it was a time when question on boundaries led to conflicts. During war with India in 1965, China stood with Pakistan wholeheartedly and that was the time when political relationship was transformed into love in the hearts of people.


In 1970s, Pakistan played a key role bringing China and the US closer and it changed the dynamic of cold war in that times.


Ambassador Haque said, in the turn of this century, there was very important development in civil nuclear energy field cooperation between the two countries. China helped Pakistan setting up very important nuclear energy plants like Chashma-1 and Chasham-2 and now Pakistan has four such nuclear plants which are contributing in addressing our energy needs.


In recent time, when President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan in April 2015, the relationship between the two countries was elevated to all weather strategic cooperative partners, he added.

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