ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong on Wednesday underscored the importance of Pakistan’s role in promoting China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative as he sought to dispel ‘myths’ about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“China and Pakistan can play a major role in promoting the Belt and Road initiative as all-weather strategic cooperative partners. Among the countries along the Belt and Road initiative, CPEC is one of the earliest, fastest and most effective project,” Ambassador Sun said while delivering a lecture on the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative jointly organised by the Chinese embassy and the Pakistan-China Institute.
The lecture was held in connection with the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation being held in China from May 14-15. Top leaders from 28 countries, including Pakistan, and representatives from 110 countries and 61 international organisations will take part in the forum. UN Secretary General António Guterres would also attend the forum.
The ambassador said that One Belt, One Road concept was based on traditional Chinese culture whose core values were peace, development and harmony.
He expressed satisfaction over the pace of projects under construction under the CPEC, noting that 19 early-harvest projects were under smooth construction with a total contract amount of $18.5 billion.
Mr Sun said China’s projects under the CPEC would not create environmental problems for Pakistan, adding that Beijing would not transfer outdated capacity production here. Besides, he said, the CPEC would not increase the financial burden on Pakistan.
He said China would not pursue unilateral trade surplus with Pakistan and would welcome export of Pakistani products to China and would provide facilitation in this regard.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the CPEC, Senator Mushahid Hussain, said Pakistan-China ties had seen quantitative expansion.
Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2017