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October 5, 2019

Only CPEC can’t ensure growth of entire Pak economy

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October 5, 2019

KARACHI: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yu Jing has said that only China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not going to guarantee the development of whole economy of Pakistan but it is a small part of it.

“China is doing huge investment on a partnership basis. We are helping Pakistan in various sectors including education, technical education, agriculture, social development, technology transfer etc.,” he said. He stated that CPEC is the essence of bilateral long-term relations between the two countries, which would help Pakistan develop critical infrastructure and is not a means "to colonise the country." Yu Jing was speaking at a dialogue on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) hosted by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) here at a local hotel. Ikram Sehgal, KCFR Chairman and Commodore (retd) Sadeed A Malik, Secretary General also spoke on the occasion.

Strongly rejecting the western propaganda, the ambassador said China has no military or strategic designs in Pakistan viz-a-viz CPEC as propagated by the western media. China will also stand by Pakistan to resolve the issue of Kashmir, the ambassador pledged. Yu Jing said the western media always paints a negative narrative that China may colonise Pakistan, which is totally baseless and wrong. China and Pakistan are not only important countries in this region but are also crucial for the world. “CPEC is not only to connect China with Gwadar but it will also lead to Kandahar, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia as well. Gwadar is an emerging port of Pakistan, which is a long awaited dream of Pakistanis and their government,” he noted. “We are waiting for free zone policy of government of Pakistan, after which we will launch 19 projects in Gwadar alone. China is spending $40 million annually to keep Gwadar port functional, as it is now started commercial operations as well. We send a commercial vessel every week to Gwadar port. In next phase of second Free Trade Agreement, we will establish manufacturing units of agriculture, seafood and other industries, which will also provide huge employment to people,” the ambassador informed.

Yu Jing said, “The biggest issues of Gwadar are electricity and fresh water. China will install a power plant of 300 megawatt while we will also install a desalination plant with capacity of 5000 tons. We are also constructing a 200-bed hospital, education and vocational centers and new international airport in Gwadar. Work on these projects will start from end of this year.” “We are also considering a transit trade for Gwadar port as it has been the central part of Balochistan province. Chinese companies are going to invest $10 million in fisheries sector alone where seafood-processing plants will be installed. We will purchase seafood from fishermen. It will also boost local fisheries industry, Yu Jing further said.

The ambassador said that they are encouraging Chinese tourists to visit Pakistan and for this they are already in talks with governments of Khyber Pakhtoonkha (KP) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). Responding to questions from audience, Chinese ambassador said that any student or trader who cannot afford visa processing fee can contact their embassy to get its waiver. In this case, embassy will bear this cost from a rescue scheme launched for this purpose, he stated. To a question, the Chinese ambassador said they are issuing 1,00,000 trade visas to Pakistanis.

Sharing background of CPEC, Chinese ambassador said that it was vision of former prime minister of China late Chau En Li in 1950s that, by the end of this century, Karakorum Highway will become a commercial corridor, which they achieved at least 20 years late due to unstable political situations in the region. “We are also working for Kashmiris to help them get their fundamental rights and justice. A justified solution should be made of Kashmir and China will stand by Pakistan for the regional peace and stability,” he reaffirmed.

Speaking on this occasion, Ikram Sehgal, KCFR Chairman said several forces are not happy with CPEC and are always keep trying to spread negative propaganda against it. If they were so sincere with Pakistan, why they did not invest in the country.

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