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December 14, 2019

Importance of CPEC highlighted


December 14, 2019

The Lahore Council for World Affairs (LCWA) and visiting scholars of the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and global issues during the latter’s visit to Lahore at LCWA’s invitation from 8-12 December, 2019.

According to a press release, the CFAU scholars included Professor Shi Yi, Dean Department of International Studies, Professor Gao Shangta and Professor Ren Yuanzhe whereas the LCWA delegation included senior retired ambassadors of Pakistan. Besides talks with LCWA, the programme of the visiting CFAU delegation also included meetings with other think tanks in Lahore.

The talks between LCWA and CFAU delegations focused on Pakistan-China relations; strategic and economic importance of CPEC; challenges posed by growing Indo-US strategic cooperation and implications of the rise of Hindutva in India for Kashmir, Pakistan and the region, tension in the Persian Gulf region; prospects of peace in Afghanistan; and river water issues between India and Pakistan.

It was agreed during the discussions that Pakistan-China friendship served the best interests of the two countries besides strengthening regional and stability. It was a matter of satisfaction that the governments and peoples of Pakistan and China were fully committed to strengthening the cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries. CPEC, which envisaged Chinese investment amounting to $62 billion in various sectors in Pakistan, had the potential to take Pakistan-China friendship, which had stood the test of time, to new heights.

The Chinese side pointed out that CPEC related projects had already generated more than 70,000 new jobs for Pakistan nationals besides accelerating Pakistan's GDP growth rate. The two delegations also exchanged views on the emerging challenges in South Asia and options for the resolution of root causes of tensions in the region, especially the Kashmir dispute. The Chinese scholars were briefed on river water disputes between Pakistan and India and their serious implications for Pakistan.

The Chinese side emphasised the importance of peace and stability in the region as a pre-requisite for economic development. Views were also exchanged on the growing tensions in the Persian Gulf region and the prospects of peace in Afghanistan. It was agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region were necessary prerequisites for the region’s progress and prosperity. At the conclusion of the talks, Ambassador Javid Husain, President, LCWA and Professor Shi Yi expressed the hope for the continuation of talks between the two organisations through regular exchange of visits.

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