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The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which passes through PoK has made progress and benefited local people, the Chinese envoy to Pakistan has said amid reports that opposition to the ambitious project is intensifying both at home and abroad.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a major pilot project under Silk Road Initiative, is going well and the completed part is bringing tangible benefits to local people, China’s ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong told state-run Xinhua news agency.
Sun’s comments came after commentaries in Chinese official media recently that opposition is intensifying to the project.
“Pakistan’s Sindh Province saw a bomb attack against Chinese engineers and small-scale protests against the CPEC recently,” an article in the state-run Global Times on June 13 said.
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Meanwhile, the Pakistani government claimed that anti-CPEC activities by foreign forces have been busted in Baluch Province, where the project links up with Baluchistan port, it said.
“CPEC is seeing intensifying opposition from both home and abroad, which, on the other hand, shows that its construction has achieved major progress that gets on the nerves of opposition groups,” it said.
Sun, who is China’s senior diplomat in South Asian affairs, said the Pakistan government, the parliament, military, media and think tanks were all paying “close attention” to the progress of CPEC and “offering their full support”.
The CPEC, which highlights energy, transport, the Gwadar port and industrial cooperation at the current stage, has formed the “1+4” layout, and will seek to expand cooperation to such sectors as finance, science and technology, education, poverty alleviation and urban planning.
“The CPEC is a mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation, which will contribute to the prosperity and development of China, Pakistan and the region and the building of a community of shared destiny between the two countries,” Sun said.
“We will fully implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of China and Pakistan, and push forward the construction of CPEC to benefit the Chinese and Pakistani peoples,” Sun added.
The 3000 km long CEPC, which is part of China’s Silk Road project, officially called Belt and Road is aimed at connecting the two countries with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fiber network.
It connects China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan Gwadar port, providing access to China to Arabian Sea facing India’s west coast.
The project when it is completed would enable China to pump its oil supplies from the middle east through the pipelines to Xinjiang cutting considerable distance for Chinese ships to travel to China.
India has already protested to China over the project as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).