China to firmly stand by Pakistan, CPEC to be strengthened, taken forward: Ambassador Yao Jing

Islamabad, January 22, 2018 (PPI-OT):The new Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has termed Pakistan as China’s “most important partner”, adding that “CPEC has a pivotal position in China’s foreign policy.”He made these remarks during a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC which was convened in Parliament today under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain.He said that China and Pakistan would protect their “common interests together”, with CPEC gaining “more significant and greater attention in the region as it is also a project for regional cooperation and connectivity”.

Introducing Ambassador Yao Jing as “an old friend of Pakistan” who knows the region like the “palm of his hand”, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that Ambassador Yao Jing had served in Islamabad, Kabul and New Delhi and “we are fortunate that now he is posted as Ambassador in Islamabad at a time of tremendous transformation.”

Ambassador Yao Jing said that among the priorities of China’s foreign policy viz –a-viz CPEC are to keep funding CPEC so that it can move forward, “making CPEC more sustainable, meeting the satisfaction level of both sides, making CPEC more understandable for the media with transparency and access to information, establish a framework to build Special Economic Zones (SEZs) through joint ventures with the private sector as well as investors from other countries and promote regional cooperation and broaden CPEC to include Afghanistan and Central Asia.”

The Parliamentary Committee welcomed these initiatives and Ambassador Yao Jing thanked the Parliamentary Committee for playing a key role in promoting consensus among provinces, political parties and parliament on CPEC.All the members of the Parliamentary Committee representing different parties and provinces said that they were “hundred percent supportive of CPEC”.

The Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Shoaib Siddiqui, also briefed the Parliamentary Committee about the recent visit of a high-level delegation which he led from the Pakistani side to take forward the decisions of the last JCC meeting held in November 2017, including focus on such areas as building the Western route of the CPEC, the Karachi Circular Railway and Main Line-I of the Pakistan Railway which is a project of dualization and upgradation of Pakistan Railways.The meeting lasted for over two and a half hours with a productive interaction of the members with the Chinese Ambassador.

The meeting was attended by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Mr. Isphanyar M. Bhandara, MNA, Sheikh Salahuddin, MNA, Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, MNA, Senator Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassani and Secretary Committee and Senior Officers of the different Ministries and Departments. The Chairman, Parliamentary Committee also presented report of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC to the Ambassador of China.

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