BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that those who oppose the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) shall never succeed as this is an initiative of peace and development not only for China but for the region and beyond.
“Pakistan is our time-tested iron friend and Pakistan Army has a pivotal role towards this lasting relationship,” the Chinese leader said in a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who called on him on Wednesday on special invitation.
The two sides discussed regional security environment, challenges, and the way forward, according to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, the ISPR, from Rawalpindi.
President Xi appreciated professionalism of Pakistan’s armed forces and acknowledged its role towards regional peace and stability. “China shall continue to support Pakistan as a strategic partner,” he said. “Those who oppose Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or CPEC shall never succeed as this is an initiative of peace and development not only for China but for the region and beyond.”
The army chief thanked President Xi for his invitation. He also thanked the Chinese leader for acknowledging professionalism and contributions of Pakistan Army towards regional peace and stability.
Gen Qamar said that Pakistan understands the importance of peace and has given a lot of sacrifices for achieving it. “The BRI with CPEC as its flagship is destined to succeed despite all odds and Pakistan Army shall ensure security of CPEC at all costs,” he said.
The army chief said that “while we work for peace we need to stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve and we greatly value Chinese support in this regard”.
Gen Qamar is returning to Pakistan on Wednesday night after the completion of his visit to China during which he met senior military and civilian leaders.