Chinese scholar Prof Dr Wang Yiwei on Monday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help Asia to rise to new highs as it has provided both wings to Asian countries providing connecting links among the countries of Asian continent and the sea link to help ferry trading shipments to the world.
In an exclusive briefing conducted here for a group of journalists, he highlighted the vision behind the Chinese initiative of One Belt, One Road, saying that the strategy would help revive the old Asian Silk Route which would provide the connectivity to pull the poor of the world out of the clutches of poverty.
Dr Wang who is the professor at School of International Studies of the Renmin Universities of China, was also accompanied by Dr Liu Zhijie, counselor at the Department of Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China; Fan Lei, Senior Research Fellow at the Charhar Institute of China; Chen Xiaochen, Senior Research Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin Universities of China; Lan Jianxue, Associate Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies; and China’s Asian Affairs Attache Wang Weiran.
“Poverty is the common enemy of humanity. The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is a key towards economic development and prosperity. China has launched the Belt & Road Initiative to help connect the people of the globe with shared destiny and jointly fight the menace of poverty which leads to terrorism, extremism and violence,” he said.
Talking about the CPEC, Dr Wang said that the corridor had five components necessary for economic growth of Pakistan including projects of energy, infrastructure, free economic zones, industrial parks and ports in across Pakistan. “There is a Chinese saying, if you want to get rich, build roads first. If you want to get richer, build motorways and if you want to get richest, build internet. Now, China is providing all these tools for its Pakistani brothers,” he said.
“We are building roads, motorways, high speed railway, information technology parks, energy projects, free economic zones, ports and everything Pakistan needs,” he said. Dr Wang, who has written four books on the BRI, said that access to sea was key for rapid development of trade and economy and China was building ports in Pakistan to materialise the dream of rapid development.
“Landlocked countries and landlocked areas can’t prosper. There is a saying that access to sea is access to the world. Pakistan has its Gwadar Port operationalised now. You have the access to the world. Now year 2017 is a takeoff year for the CPEC,” he said, adding that ports of Pakistan would not only help build its landlocked areas but they also would help the landlocked areas in the region.
“These ports would help China’s Xinjiang province and Afghanistan greatly by providing access to the sea. Whether its energy shortage, extremism or terrorism, the CPEC would fundamentally resolve all the problems of Pakistan,” he said. He also said that even India and Afghanistan would be able to benefit from CPEC in the future as the corridor has the capability to help the neighbouring countries to benefit from it.
He said that the road network in across Pakistan would help complement all parts of the country. “A new trade boom would soon be visible in Pakistan. CPEC, even before its launch, has restored the confidence of the world investors into Pakistan. It has helped Pakistan not only attract investment, it has also rejuvenated the entire Pakistani nation who have defeated the terrorists,” he added.
He said that lots of Chinese companies were investing in Pakistan under the CPEC and soon the Chinese companies would also be relocating their manufacturing plants in Pakistan. “Since skill building process has started in Pakistan, soon the Chinese companies would be interested to transfer technology to Pakistan. CPEC has already resolved the image perception of Pakistan to a great deal. Now world’s confidence is returning to Pakistan,” he concluded. Lai Haiyang, the media officer of the Chinese Embassy, was also present.