Pakistan China CPEC project not against any third country, says Chinese FM in a veiled reference to India
BEIJING – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Friday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, was an economic cooperation programme and did not target any third country.
“We have stated clearly on many occasions that the BRI including the CPEC is an only economic initiative and does not target any third country,” he said during a press briefing in which he also announced that the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held here from April 25 to 27.
He remarked that both – the BRI and CPEC – had nothing to do with the sovereign and territorial disputes, left over from history between any two countries, adding, “Our cooperation will not undermine any party’s position on those issues.”ť
Wang said: “Now we are trying to achieve common prosperity through the cooperation under BRI. Those issues left over from history must be separated from our efforts in this area.”ť
He opined that such cooperation would not undermine a country’s basic position on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Chinese foreign minister informed that a total of 37 heads of state or government and other leaders from Pakistan, Austria, Egypt, Italy, Nepal, and Laos will attend the forum.
France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Japan, South Korea, and the EU will send high-level representatives to the forum, he added.
In addition, President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith will pay a state visit to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and deliver a keynote speech and host a state dinner in honor of world leaders.
The second day of the forum, the Chinese president will receive world leaders and hold a Leaders’ Roundtable at Yanqi Lake, located at the foot of the Yanshan Mountains, in the northeast suburb of Beijing.
Chinese President Xi will address the media at the end of the forum. Wang said: ” Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future,” will be the theme of the second BRF which is aimed to bring about high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road framework.
More side events are planned for this year’s forum, including 12 sub-forums focusing on practical cooperation. Also, a conference will be organized specifically for the business community for the first time.
The Chinese foreign minister said that BRI has gained active response and participation since it was announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013; as many as 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China to jointly build the Belt and Road.
He said the total trade volume between China and participating countries has surpassed 6 trillion U.S. dollars, investment has exceeded 80 billion U.S. dollars and the 82 cooperation parks built by China and relevant countries have created nearly 300,000 jobs, bringing enormous development opportunities for the countries involved and laying a solid foundation for China to host the second forum.