LAHORE: Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan Yao Jing has said that China cannot afford to lose Pakistan because stability in its neighbourhood is integral to China’s development.
He made these remarks while speaking at an interactive policy dialogue organized by Lahore Centre for Peace Research (LCPR) on the topic ‘Pakistan-China Relations in the 21st century’, which was arranged in his honour, said in a press release issued on Saturday.
In his keynote speech, the Ambassador of China emphasised that Pakistan matters to China’s vision of development and growth as enshrined in last year’s 19th China’s Communist Party Convention
He said that Pakistan’s importance to China would continue to increase because of the centrality of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route in the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI). Yao added that a stable Pakistan was vital to China’s growth.
The Ambassador reminded the distinguished gathering that China envisages CPEC to be a lead project for connectivity and peace.
He stated the project was not only for the benefit of Pakistan and China as “ownership of CPEC finally belongs to the whole world”.
Earlier, Ambassador Shamshad Ahmed Khan, former foreign secretary and currently Chairman Lahore Center for Peace Research, highlighted the unwavering commitment of Pakistan and China’s leadership to build stronger economic and social ties between the two countries.
He emphasised that China’s relations with Pakistan were not based on transient interests but have remained unconditional. He also noted that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a huge regional agenda with mutual interests rooted in China’s and Pakistan’s common vision for a better future and prosperity of the region.
“Rooted within BRI is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative that harbours economic prosperity for greater benefit of the entire region,” he remarked.
Khan praised the Chinese leadership in promoting world-wide connectivity for socio-economic development and reiterated that Pakistan was also determined in its commitment to support CPEC.
The event was also attended by the Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin, former Finance Minister, Dr Salman Shah, former Pakistani diplomats and notable defense analysts, as well as people from the academia.