Beijing: China on Monday reacted guardedly to Saudi Arabia’s plan to invest in Pakistan, saying it is a “positive factor” if any other party would like to contribute to promote the inter-connectivity and prosperity of the region on the basis of consultation.
After the recent visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia, it was announced that Riyadh will be the third “strategic partner” of USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC.
The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative or BRI, a project of President Xi Jinping aimed at enhancing China’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.
However, Islamabad later clarified that the Saudi Arabian investments will not be under the CPEC, which will remain a bilateral project between China and Pakistan.
Asked about China’s reaction to Saudi Arabia’s investments in Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that “the CPEC is an important project under the Belt and Road Initiative”.
He said BRI projects followed wide consultations and shared benefits.
“So such cooperation has always been open and transparent. If any other party would like to contribute positive factors to promote the inter-connectivity and prosperity of the region on the basis of consultation, I think this is a positive factor,” Lu said.
India has opposed the CPEC project and protested to China as it is being laid through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir or POK.