Under the pretext of not disrupting bilateral relations between India and China, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui said the latter is ready to change the name of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Addressing a session at the United Service Institution of India here on, Luo while denying China’s involvement in the sovereignty and territorial disputes between India and Pakistan, said the CPEC is for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity. “It (CPEC) has no connections to or impact on sovereignty issues. Even we can think about renaming the CPEC. China and India have had successful experience of delinking sovereignty disputes with bilateral relations before. China is sincere in its intention to cooperate with India on the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, as it is good for both of us,” he said.
Citing China’s earlier measures to help tackle issues related to Kashmir, Luo said contrary to media reports of aiding Pakistan, China’s initiatives focus more on reaping its own benefits rather than supporting the stance of any other nation. “We always put China first and we deal with problems based on their own merits,” he said.
Emphasising on the importance of mediation between India, China and Pakistan, Luo said it is essential for collective development and stability of the entire region. On Sunday, Pakistan and China agreed to jointly oversee the CPEC and ensure transparency in the project as an agreement in this regard was signed between the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Beijing.
A combined initiative focusing on enhancing economic cooperation between China and Pakistan, the CPEC is being hailed to create 85,000 jobs for Pakistani youth. It is being facilitated to modernize infrastructure and transport networks in Pakistan through the creation of special economic zones and energy projects. The initial proposal was made in April 2015 during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official state visit to Pakistan.
On April 20, 2015, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to commence work on the USD 46 billion agreement, with approximately USD 28 billion worth of fast-tracked projects to be developed by the end of 2018.