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October 26, 2017

Chinese President Xi’s rise a boost for CPEC, causes concerns in India

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October 26, 2017

ISLAMABAD: While Indian media has raised cautions over the move, Pakistani experts and diplomats have welcomed the elevation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s status by the Communist Party as a good sign for bilateral ties and specially the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China’s ruling Communist Party move on Tuesday confirmed Xi Jinping’s rise to becoming the country’s most powerful leader in decades by amending its constitution to add his name and ideology to it. The move may pave the way for another five-year term in office for the President whose vision of One Belt One Road (OBOR) has also been made part of the constitution.

Commenting on the new development Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Minister Counsellor at Chinese Embassy Lijian Zhao told The News the move will bring “stability, continuity and unity” in China.

“All this is good for China and CPEC,” top Chinese diplomat said. While, Pakistan’s Foreign Office has yet to issue a formal response to the unprecedented move, a top Pakistani diplomat told The News that the Communist Party’s move is a very positive development for Pakistan.

“This is not a small development, President Xi has become the first Chinese leader to have managed this since Mao Zedong, indicating that the next era will be a crucial one for China,” he said while speaking with The News informally as official response is awaited.

The diplomat said its good news for the developing world as Chinese leader’s vision of regional connectivity and economic integration has the potential to change the world.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also tweeted that Pakistan and China are set to enter a new era of shared development under President Xi’s dynamic leadership.

“My Heartiest congratulations to HE President Xi Jinping on his historic re-election as Secretary General of Communist Party of China,” Shahbaz tweeted. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz told a gathering yesterday that President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative will pave the way for region’s inclusive growth in next few years.

He said central Asia is the hub of development activities for next 25 years and President Xi’s vision has enabled China and Pakistan to become part of that development initiative. Incharge of the government communication on CPEC Asim Khan said being the dreamer of the corridor; President Xi has personal interest in the success of the initiative.

“It is a great news for OBOR and CPEC as the Chinese leader has brought a paradigm shift in Pakistan-China relation moving it from geo-strategic to geo-economic partnership.” Indian media has warned that the rise of Xi Jinping and inclusion of his Belt and Road initiative in the constitution may widen China’s rift with India. The Economic Times reported that the move will cause discomfort in India. Another paper ‘India Today’ noted that “India was the major lone absentee to Xi’s Belt and Road summit in May, and experts say his reiteration of the significance of the plan could widen an already sensitive rift with India on the issue amid other recent strains in ties.

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