Friday, 13 November 2015
China to back Pakistan in ensuring security of $46 billion economic corridor project
Islamabad: China will support Pakistan in ensuring the security of the ambitious USD 46 billion economic corridor project that aims to directly link the Communist giant to the Arabian Sea via the strategic port of Gwadar, China's highest ranking defence official has said.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a special economic project giving Beijing greater access to the Middle East, Africa and Europe through Pakistan's Gwadar port.
Under the project, Pakistan's Gwadar port city will get linked to China's Kashgar city in Xinjiang through a network of roads and oil pipelines.
"We look forward to close cooperation with Pakistan side to ensure proper management and security of CPEC," Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif.
In his meeting with Gen Sharif at General Headquarters on Thursday, Fan said,
"China deeply appreciates the determination of Pakistan Army in counter terrorism and the successful operation in various fields."
Terming the CPEC equally beneficial to both China and Pakistan, Fan said the two countries are committed to its continuous process and success.
He said of efforts by Pakistan Army in safeguarding CPEC security are highly appreciated.
Fan said Pakistan has rendered huge sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
"China values the efforts of Pakistan Army in fighting East Turkistan Islamic Movement," he was quoted as saying by the military.
Highlighting Pak-China defence and security cooperation, Fan said, "China and Pakistan are the best iron brothers, good friends and strategic partners."
He also said that the mutually supportive cooperation in the field of defence is a critical factor in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Welcoming Fan to Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the friendship with China is the cornerstone of his country's foreign policy as both the countries enjoy unparallelled ties in the contemporary world.
According to an official statement, the Prime Minister emphasised the time-tested friendship between the two countries.
"General Fan Changlong appreciated Pakistan's role in its fight against terrorism and added that both countries share common view on combating the evil of terrorism and extremism," the statement said.
The top Chinese military official is visiting Pakistan on Pakistan Army's invitation. He is also expected to visit India.