China and Pakistan to extend their Economic Corridor to Afghanistan

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KABUL (TCA) — Senior Chinese and Pakistani officials in a meeting in Islamabad decided to accelerate and extend the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor towards Afghanistan, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported with reference to Indian media.

The meeting was held between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani officials in Islamabad during Wang’s visit to Pakistan from September 7 to 9.

“Our bilateral cooperation to get off under the new circumstances,” said Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, as quoted in a report by India’s The Economic Times.

He said China and Pakistan have agreed to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) towards the west to enable more people to benefit from it.

“The two sides will advance the CPEC in the light of Pakistan’s economic and social development and people’s needs,” Geng said. “We will identify the pathways and cooperation for the CPEC. We will accelerate the industrial cooperation and the projects of the people’s livelihoods and extend the CPEC to the western area and make the people gets benefits from it.”

According to the report, India has protested over the economic corridor, a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative as New Delhi said it traversed through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The CPEC was originally conceived to be a strategic link with highways, rail and pipeline links between China’s Xinjiang and Pakistan’s Gwadar port.

During his visit to Pakistan, Wang said there were currently 22 cooperation projects in Pakistan within the framework of the CPEC of which nine have been completed and 13 are under construction.

The total investment of the projects was to the tune of $19 billion and they have created 70,000 new jobs, he was quoted as saying by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.

Sergey Kwan

TCA