Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Tuesday invited Pakistani citizens to take advantage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as Chinese expertise.

He was addressing the CPEC Summit, being hosted by the Dawn Media Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, which kicked off at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday.

Various speakers — including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab and Sindh chief ministers, and several prominent researchers and analysts — had addressed the conference on the first day of the event.

Talking about the Chinese model of economy, Jing, while quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping, said that China has the largest foreign reserves. "In the past 40 years, China has developed; it has combined a socialist system with a market economy that suits the country."

He extended his cooperation to Pakistan, saying, "China wants the entire region to develop. We want Pakistan, our iron brother, to develop."

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"Our purpose is a better life for Pakistani people [particularly] through the scientific implementation of CPEC," he said, adding that currently, his government was focusing on the infrastructure structure [under the project].

"I am sure with our combined efforts, CPEC will be successful and our state to state relations will be further strengthened and become an example for the [global] community," he remarked.

'Close friends'

Senator Mushahid Hussain also spoke at the event, touching upon bilateral relations between the two countries. "When we look at China-Pakistan relations, both countries are seen as best friends. Pakistan is the only country that supports the core interests of China, and vice versa."

Pakistan has supported China in all its border conflicts, he added, saying: "Economic power is shifting from the West to the East. China is growing from a regional to a global power. It has become a major player in international politics and global affairs, like climate change."

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that CPEC has now become a reality. "Two power projects under the initiative have been completed and the third one is about to be finished."

"We look upon CPEC as a partnership between two governments," he had said, adding, "It is a new form of cooperation."

The summit is one of the biggest events to be held in the country on CPEC aimed at educating the public about the objectives of CPEC and its umbrella project, the Belt and Road Initiative.