ISLAMABAD-Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Friday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had stabilised the economy.

Speaking at a farewell ceremony here, the envoy said the Pakistan government was taking good initiatives for the development of the country.

“PM Imran Khan has stabilised the economy. Every week there are new initiatives and new plans,” he told a gathering of the journalists at a reception.

He said the Pak-China partnership was expanding. “There is Gwadar Port and the international cooperation. There are joint working group meetings. CPEC is not a whole of Pak-China ties. It is, however, strengthening the existing friendly ties,” he added.

Ambassador Jing said Pakistan-China ties were not limited to CPEC. “We (China) want a strong and peaceful region. With the efforts of Pakistan government, Pakistan is progressing. China wants prosperity in Pakistan,” he said.

About the standoff with India, he said, it started at a difficult time. 

“India provoked. We hope India should be responsible. Peace is important. We would like to ask India please don’t cross over. Aggression is bad. We have a lot of bilateral agreements but we will not compromise on sovereignty,” he said. 

CPEC, he said, was a part of the Belt and Road Initiative. “China wants Pakistan to develop. We are doing a great job. We are making it more liberal. CPEC is under attack but it can’t stop. Pakistan and China are working together. It is an ongoing process and economically a success,” he added.

About President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, he said the Chinese leader had happily accepted the invitation by PM Khan. 

“It’s on high agenda. There have been high-level exchanges. We can hope for an early visit which is convenient for both sides,” he remarked.

To a question, the Chinese envoy said there was no misunderstanding on CPEC. “When a new government comes (in Pakistan) they have new agendas. This is normal. But I want to make it clear there is no misunderstanding on CPEC and everything is going very smoothly,” he maintained.

He said that during his tenure as ambassador and as a diplomat for 11 years, he loved the Pakistani hospitality. “They have respect for the Chinese people. 100 per cent marks. Pakistan should embark on prosperity. Final destination is prosperous, developed Pakistan. I have faith in Pakistan,” he said.

During his stay as in Pakistan, Yao Jing pushed Chinese authorities to dispatch a delegation of experts on locust to visit Pakistan in February 2020 at the expense of the Chinese government to provide technical assistance to Pakistan for controlling locust. 

He facilitated Pakistan by the provision of free of cost assistance around USD 4.94 million in the shape of 300,000 litres of malathion pesticide and 50 sprayer equipment with free of cost online training. 

The equipment was also provided in three batches to Pakistan by air and sea at the arrangement of the Chinese side.

He persuaded his government for the provision of medical equipment to Pakistan including 30,000 masks, 1,000 protective goggles, long shoes, and 1,000 protective suits for continuity of the field operation against locust by our locust control teams during COVID-19.