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Business & Finance

Pakistan and China to extend CPEC to Afghanistan

  • Pakistan and China have decided to extend CPEC to Afghanistan during Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to Islamabad.
Published May 25, 2021
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Pakistan and China have decided to bring Afghanistan into the ambit of the US$ 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to Islamabad.

Being one of the pioneering projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC has made incredible progress in terms of developing infrastructure, energy, ports and industrial parks. Expanding the geographical bounds of CPEC to other countries in the region is a step towards greater regional prosperity and growth.

While the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that Beijing is communicating with Afghanistan and Pakistan through diplomatic channels regarding an extension of its flagship project, they are committed to maintain CPEC’s status as a strictly economic initiative, which has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes like the Kashmir issue.

Hence, the Chinese Foreign Ministry effectively dismissed any Indian claims regarding CPEC’s vested interests in claiming the disputed territory of Kashmir.

In addition to this, the spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian also commented that China is interested in working with Pakistan under CPEC and plans to extend it to other regional countries in the hopes of improving regional connectivity and economic integration.

Similarly, Prime Minister Imran Khan also reaffirmed the highest level of priority the Government gives to CPEC projects during a recent high-level huddle. He also explained that CPEC has the potential to not only open up tremendous opportunities in terms of increased economic growth and development for Pakistan, but for the region as a whole and beyond.

China also appreciated these remarks by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. “We have noted the relevant remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan and we appreciate it," said Zhao Lijian during a regular briefing.

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