ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that considering the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor a zero-sum game was unwise.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day international conference organised by China-Pakistan Study Center at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in collaboration with Power-China, he said: “Things are changing in the region and we are recognizant of alignments. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a transformational venture and can bring peace and development in the region. Considering BRI and CPEC a zero-sum game, we believe, is unwise.”

The inaugural session was attended by President Power-China, Du Chunguo and Ambassador of China Yao Jing.

Chinese envoy praises Pakistan’s economy-oriented foreign policy

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, DG ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry aptly sketched the changing dynamics of the region and said the new great power tussle, initiated mainly by the US, can either yield new globalism or bring the old globalism to halt altogether. He said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help us navigate the challenges of contemporary times.

In his introductory remarks, Director CPSC, Dr Talat Shabir emphasized that there is a need to hold debates and generate constructive ideas through research and collaboration.

President PowerChina Du Chunguo elaborated that his company has completed 40 power projects in Pakistan focusing on socio-economic development of the people.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing commended the efforts by the government of Pakistan in implementing CPEC. Pakistani government, the Ambassador said, has adopted economy-oriented foreign policy which, he remarked, was the right policy. During the two sessions, the Chinese scholars predicted that CPEC would be a role model for other corridors of BRI.

Both Chinese and Pakistani intellectuals were sceptical of India’s peaceful rise and the Indo-Pacific strategy. Human resource development for launching SEZs projects; resolving bigger economic challenges like Pakistan’s fiscal debt and balance of payment, as well as following China’s poverty alleviation practices for socio-economic development in Pakistan were suggested as future imperatives.

The conference was an august gathering comprising academia, think-tank community, media personnel from Pakistan and China.

The participants at the two sessions on the first day included: Ambassador Masood Khalid; Ambassador Salman Bashir; Professor Shi Yuanhua, Fudan University; Dr Fazal-ur-Rehman, University of Sargodha; Prof. Guo Xuetang, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics; Dr Zahid Anwar, University of Peshawar; Dr Xu Jianying, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Dr Huma Bqai, Institute of Business Administration; Prof. Lin Mingwan, Fudan University; Prof Tang Mengsheng, Beijing University; Mr Hassan Daud Butt, KP Board of Investment; Dr Liu Zongyi, Shanghai Institute for International Studies; Dr Mirwais Kasi, University of Baluchistan; Prof Song Zhihui, Sichuan University; Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, Government College University; and Dr Li Qingyan, China Institute of International Studies.