Vice Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, Zheng Ziaosong, has stressed that political consensus is essential for fully exploiting the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Zheng made this remarks during his meeting with the visiting delegation of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Beijing.
“Political consensus coupled with unanimity in approach is essential to draw the maximum benefits from this mega project which is a game-changer for the region,” the Express Tribune quoted him as saying.
Zheng was of the opinion that more than 50 countries will benefit from this $46 billion project.
Asserting that national unity is required, especially on projects like CPEC, he said, “In China there is one-party rule; however, in Pakistan, things are different. I don’t want to sound critical of the Pakistani political arrangement — I just want to imply that there are more chances of political division when there are multiple political parties.”
Meanwhile, PPP vice-president Senator Sherry Rehman, who is leading the delegation, responded that CPEC would be a valuable addition in the joint ventures taken by the two countries, adding the project will have far-reaching and positive implications for the region.
“Pakistan is fully committed in providing foolproof security to Chinese nationals in general and especially those who have been assigned to the CPEC,” she added. Considered a part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, the CPEC covers Balochistan and Sindh provinces and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Baloch activists, who have been protesting against the project, say that CPEC is causing much damage to the environment and would not benefit the people of the region but alleged that Balochistan’s abundant resources are being diverted for Pakistan’s most populous province Punjab.