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Pakistan has an unrivalled importance in Beijing’s strategic calculations: China

12 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: China on Monday said Pakistan had an unrivalled importance in Beijing’s ‘strategic calculations’ and that a vibrant bilateral cooperation was central to tackling challenges facing the region and beyond.

Assistant Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Wang Yajun told a conference attended by people from all walks of life in Islamabad that his country was highly committed to assisting Pakistan for a genuine economic development and prosperity. He said both countries have always stood by each other shoulder to shoulder in difficult times. “Ties between China and Pakistan are unique of its kind … we have relations from blood to blood and generation to generation … and we want that relations to get stronger like iron,” he said.

The visiting minister said the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project were the ‘game-changer’ not only for Pakistan but the entire region. “All political forces and people in Pakistan are united on CPEC. We are determined to pluck the fruits of CPEC and BRI and pass on them to people of the two countries,” he added.

Yajun said energy crisis in Pakistan had been overcome to a great extent due to timely completion of a number of power projects under the CPEC initiative.

The Chinese minister said his country remained firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. “We respect the right of the people of all countries to choose their own development path. We endeavour to uphold international fairness and justice, and oppose acts that impose one’s will on others or interfere in the internal affairs of others as well as the practice of the strong bullying the weak,” he said, and assured the audience that no matter, how much China rises, it would never go for hegemony or ignoring the interests of other nations.

Throwing light on China’s policy to ensure transparency in governance system, the minister said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of China had punished 440 senior level officials of the CPC, besides 8,900 city-level officials and over 63,000 county-level officials over corruption and involvement in malpractices. He said a total of 278,000 grassroots level party members and officials were also taken to task, besides arrest of 3,453 fugitives. He said among the top 100 fugitives listed on an Interpol red notice, 48 have already been arrested.

Sharing the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC) report, he said China was a leader among the world major economies. With the GDP rising from 54 trillion to 80 trillion RMBs, China has maintained its position as the world’s second largest economy and has contributed more than 30 percent to the global economic growth, he said.

Senator Mushahid Hussian in his opening remarks said that China had made remarkable development from 1949 till date. “While CPEC is set to change the fate of Pakistan, BRI will bring unprecedented dividends for Africa, Middle East and Europe. Land and sea links under the project will help the better future of the next generation.”

He said China’s decision to invest in Pakistan was a ‘vote of confidence’ into Pakistan’s future. “This is a unique achievement in bilateral relations. China has also vowed to invest in scientific innovation, environment friendly measures, peaceful coexistence and good neighbourly relations,” he added.

Deputy Chairman Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haidery in his address praised China’s policy of goodwill towards Pakistan. He thanked the Chinese leadership for supporting Pakistan on Kashmir and other important issues. He said people of Pakistan have fully endorsed China’s initiatives for development in Pakistan under the CPEC.

Chinese ambassador-designate to Pakistan Yao Jing on the occasion said, ” I am happy to come Pakistan for the third time … I arrived first time in Pakistan in 1994.” He said people to people contacts between the two counties will be beneficial for bilateral relations.

Later in the day, Wang Yajun along with his delegation called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and discussed with him issues of bilateral interest.

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