BEIJING -  China wants Pakistan to take full benefit of the opportunities offered by the CPEC project.

“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the pioneer of the One Belt One Road initiative of China and Beijing desires Pakistan not to lose the opportunities provided by the CPEC at this critical phase of its development,” said Mr Liu Pengfei, diplomat at the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs while talking to the delegation of senior Pakistani journalists who led by senior columnist Muhammad Mehdi, met him at the ministry office here yesterday.

On arrival to the ministry office, Mr Liu warmly welcomed the Pakistani delegates.

Talking to Pakistani media men and replying the queries, Liu Pengfei mainly shed light on the importance of CPEC not only for Pakistan and China but for the ‘whole region and beyond.’ He said China was determined to complete the project no matter which party was in power in Pakistan. He said the CPEC was reflective of the friendship which was growing into brotherly ties between China and Pakistan with every passing day. To a question on situation in Pakistan in context of the completion of the CPEC, he however said that it would not hamper the progress on CPEC although China was not unaware of it. He said China strongly desires Pakistan to be an economically stable and prosperous country. Mr Liu termed it ‘natural’ when asked about the critical views on CPEC from inside and outside Pakistan. As s sincere friend China wants Pakistan to seize benefits of the CPEC, he added.

Replying to a question about the Gwadar airport and other projects in the deep water sea port, the diplomat who deals with Asian affairs, said that there were certain hiccups which now have been removed and work on the airport will hopefully start in the year instant. He said of the 50, work on as many as 19 projects of worth $19billion is underway. He also hinted at initiating more projects in Pakistan in due course of time.

Mr Liu who has been a frequent visitor to Pakistan sounded much impressed with the development of Punjab. He also appreciated the fruitful projects initiated under the CPEC and particularly mentioned about the Sahiwal coal-based energy project which, he added, was completed at a speed even not achieved in China on construction side. He also mentioned about the completion of infrastructure in CPEC projects if it was found missing in Pakistan. He expressed satisfaction with the pace of work on CPEC to meet the target of timely completion. He said the project was in the benefit of both countries, so no compromise on its continuity. China is an iron friend of Pakistan and will cooperate with it in achieving development and prosperity. “Our cooperation with Pakistan will continue under all circumstances,” he added.

To a question on the inclusion of other states becoming part of the CPEC, Mr Liu said this project holds huge potential in this behalf.

To a question on Kashmir issue, Mr Liu Pengfei said China wants the relevant parties to sort it out through dialogue. Peace and stability in Pakistan and India is vital not only for the region but the world too, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Mehdi said Pakistan highly values its time tested friendship with China. He said CPEC was a very important project for the future development of Pakistan. Mehdi said the success of CPEC was not only win-win situation for China and Pakistan but also a demonstration of their increasing brotherly relations. He also appreciated the hospitality and love extended by the Chinese people during the visit.