CPEC to help Pakistan become Asian Tiger: Sun Weidong


ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP): Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),  a mutually beneficial giant initiative for China and Pakistan,  will immensely help latter to materialize its dream of becoming an ‘Asian Tiger’.

After last year’s visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping to
Pakistan, there was a smooth implementation of projects under the CPEC framework.

Energy, infrastructure, Gawadar port and industrial
cooperation were important components of CPEC which were being  implemented smoothly and within a few years, there would be  more achievements in this regard, he said in a joint interview  with APP, PTV and PBC in connection with 65th anniversary of  the establishment of Pak-China diplomatic relations.

He said the solar, coal and hydro power plants, being
set up under the CPEC, a gigantic milestone in the history of
Pak-China relations, would help a lot to meet energy shortage  in Pakistan. About progress on infrastructure projects, he said  upgradation of KKH II (Thakot to Havelian section) and construction  of Lahore-Karachi motorway (Multan to Sukkur section) were being  carried out.

He informed that fiber optic was being laid from Khunjarab
to Rawalpindi in order to provide best telecommunication facilities  between the two brotherly countries.

After handing over of Gawadar seaport to China, the Ambassador  said that a lot of activities had been accelerated in the area  including an international airport and expressway to benefit people  from the trade and transportation facilities.

Sun Weidong said that through industrial cooperation, China
and Pakistan could enhance their economic growth as well exports  from their respective countries.

Replying to a question, the Ambassador said that currently
the bilateral trade between the two countries was around US$  18.9 billion, adding with the development of CPEC framework,  China had become the largest investor for Pakistan.

China had been encouraging its companies to invest in
Pakistan as country offers huge investment opportunities,
especially after the signing of CPEC with Pakistan.

Through their mutual cooperation in the industrial sector,
both the countries would be able to export their products to
other countries, he added.

The Ambassador said, “Our cooperation is not limited to
economic ties but it encompasses people-to-people contact,
cultural exchanges, health and education.”

He informed that China Cultural Center had been set up
at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Islamabad
to promote cultural activities between the two countries.

“We have established Confucius Institutes in Islamabad,
Karachi and Faisalabad and similar institutes would also be
set up in other cities to enable Pakistani people to learn
more about Chinese language,” he remarked.

He said about 10,000 Pakistani students were currently
studying in Chinese universities and professional institutions,
adding more scholarships would be made available to Pakistani  students who wanted to study in China.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said that both
China and Pakistan wanted peace and stability in the region
and are active in world’s bodies including United Nations,
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and ASEM, etc.

Both the countries had unanimity of views on all major
regional and international issues, he added.

The Ambassador said that terrorism and extremism were
common enemies of China and Pakistan and both of them had  been making efforts for peace and stability in the region.

He said that dialogue provided the best solutions to
any problem. China and Pakistan were extending support to
peace process in Afghanistan, as an ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’  peaceful solution was in the common interest of regional  countries.

To a question, he said, military cooperation of both
countries was fruitful with fresh progress.

“We extend our high appreciation to sacrifices made
by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism,” he remarked.
He said the international community should recognize
and extend its support to Pakistan in its fight against
menace of terrorism.

The Chinese Ambassador said that China had been facing
terrorism and sought close cooperation from Pakistan to
fight terrorism.

Highlighting the economic progress of China, he said,
last year his country achieved a GDP growth rate of 6.9
percent and it remained at 6.7 percent of the first quarter
of this year.

China, he said, was one of the fastest growing economies
and second largest economy of the world.

He said China and Pakistan were developing nations,
adding, “We should develop our economies on sustainable
basis imperative for peace and stability.”

He stressed the need for keeping momentum of sustainable
economic growth also beneficial for the world.

Highlighting the warm and cordial relations between the
two countries during the past 65 years, he expressed the
confidence that this cooperation would continue to grow even stronger, so as to help build up a community of shared destiny.

Extending heartiest felicitations to the Pakistani nation
on the occasion of 65th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic
relations, he said, “We describe China-Pakistan as iron brothers  and call it all-weather strategic cooperative partnership while  the Pakistani brothers term it as higher than mountains, deeper  than sea and sweeter than honey.”

Both the countries had stood test of time and worked
together shoulder to shoulder during natural calamities
including earthquakes and floods.

He said this relationship was going stronger to stronger
besides transferring it from generations to generations.
“Our friendship is based on principles of mutual respect,
mutual understanding and mutual trust, and non-interference into  each other domestic affairs, which provides a solid base of  friendship among the people of two countries.”