China Awaits Iran’s Inclusion in CPEC - Chinese Ambassador
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ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong on Monday said Iran’s inclusion in the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be beneficial for both Tehran and Islamabad.
In an interview with the Iranian news agency, the Chinese ambassador said his country was looking forward to enhancing its cooperation with Iran through the CPEC.Iran had shown willingness to become a part of the CPEC in a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the latest session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Rouhani said Iran considered Pakistan’s economic development as its own development.“We think Iran can also be a very important country along the Belt and the Road initiative, so we really look forward to enhancing our cooperation with Iran,” Sun Weidong said.
“CPEC is a win-win cooperation, so we are looking forward to exploring the possibilities of cooperation among the all the regional countries,” he said.To a question that CPEC could be an energy line from Iran to China in the future, Weidong said, “We can explore such a possibility.”
He said Beijing respected the desire of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to join the CPEC.He said there were many projects under the CPEC framework which were being implemented or were under construction in Pakistan. “There are 16 major projects that are under construction and the Chinese side has already invested more than $13 billion,” he added.
Weidong said CPEC had created tens of thousands of job opportunities in Pakistan.The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a mega project between the two countries under which China will invest $46 billion in Pakistan.
The economic corridor is about 3,000 kilometers consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connectcorridor is about 3,000 kilometers consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
The economic corridor, seen as a pivotal stepping stone in the all-weather China-Pakistan relationship, will connect China’s autonomous Xinjiang region to the Gwadar Port. Opening new doors of economic opportunities in the region, the 3,000km mega project will have significant implications that can possibly alter the dynamics of global politics.
The deal will help strengthen Pakistan’s economy and cement its position in region. For China, the CPEC will open new routes to the oil-rich Middle East via the Arabian Sea and reinforce inter-regional ties and enable the region to stand on its own, with minimal reliance on the West.