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CPEC added new dimension to Pak-China ties: scholar


ISLAMABAD: A Chinese scholar on Thursday said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has given a new dimension to already flourishing relations between the two countries.

In a roundtable with a select group of journalists, Prof Dr Xing Guangcheng, Director at Institute of China's Borderlands, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who is heading a six-member delegation of senior officials, said China's visionary One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative is aimed at forging a community of shared destiny by involving all the countries along the old Silk Road with an objective to connect Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road, is a developmental strategy proposed by Chinese Supreme Leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among China and the rest of Eurasia.
Prof. Xing said the central as well as provincial government of Xinjiang province were laying great emphasis on the implementation of CPEC. "Under the OBOR, gas and petroleum pipelines between Kashgar and Gwadar are being constructed while work on coal and solar energy related projects is also under way. Work is already under way to establish economic and trade logistics centre as well as economic development zone in Kashgar," he said. The Gwadar-Kashgar oil pipeline that would carry one million barrel per day Middle Eastern oil to China is highly important for energy and infrastructure cooperation between the two countries, he said.
The visiting scholar was of the view that Xinjiang will have vital role in pushing forward OBOR's agenda. He said CPEC has added a new dimension to socio-economic ties between Pakistan and Xinjiang Autonomous Region and that the two sides were now actively engaged in promoting inter-connectivity through road, rail and air links. He said the CPEC was the core component of OBOR initiative which has opened numerous avenues of bilateral cooperation.
To a question, Dr Xing urged Pakistan and India to resolve Kashmir dispute benefitting from the Chinese model of settling border disputes. He said China had resolved border disputes with Soviet Union through a conflict resolution mechanism under which economic and military cooperation agreements were signed with Russia and other four countries of the Central Asia. "China and Russia (formerly known as Soviet Union) border disputes were more complex than the one Pakistan and India are locked into. China started bilateral talks with Soviet Union in 1960s without any progress for decades. Once Soviet Union collapsed, China had to talk to four central Asian states as well as Russia, forming (4+1) group," he said.
The visit of the delegation, he said, is aimed at promoting public awareness about the significance of OBOR initiative. About the fast-growing economy of the Xinjiang, Prof Xing said it has achieved annual growth of 7.6 percent and was showing remarkable progress in all spheres of life.
Another delegation member, Abdur Reheman, said religious freedom in Xinjiang was exemplary and that all ethics groups were fully allowed to perform their religious rites as per their belief. The central and provincial governments fully respect religious sentiments of all groups, he said.
Other members of the delegation included Abdulimiti Abulaiti, Deputy Director General Publicity Department, Xinjiang region and senior officials Liu Sen, Li Lin, Abdur Reheman Wushouer and Qi Mingie.
Source: Daily Times