KARACHI: "There will be 27 new projects in the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," said Chinese Consul General Wang Yu during a dialogue on the issue organized by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) at a hotel Local here on Thursday.
He said that after the signing of the memorandum of understanding between China and Pakistan for the second phase of the CPEC earlier this year, work on these 27 new projects was expected to begin at the end of the year.
"Agriculture, education, vocational training, industry, increased water supply, etc., are part of our plans for the next phase," he added.
He also said that due to the good diplomatic relations and the close friendship that China and Pakistan enjoy, many Pakistani students went to China for their higher studies, while many Chinese students study at universities in Pakistan. “The Chinese Consulate in Pakistan also annually sends about 20 Pakistani journalists to China. Then, these journalists write articles about China and prepare documentaries about our country, which helps others here to get to know China better, "he said.
"Kashmir is a historical problem that must be resolved through conversations"
“Similarly, China also invites and welcomes artists and painters from Pakistan to exchange cultures from both countries. Our doctors and surgeons also visit Pakistan regularly and perform several complicated surgeries for free here. In Karachi alone, our ophthalmologists have performed more than 500 cataract surgeries. And this relationship should grow even more with the efforts of people from all walks of life on both sides, be they entrepreneurs, politicians or other professionals. We need to focus together on positive perspectives, ”he said.
Regarding the situation in Kashmir occupied by India, the GC said that China was with Pakistan. "Kashmir is a historical problem that must be resolved through conversations," he added.
KCFR President Ikram ul Majeed Sehgal said that the current situation with India and what they were doing in Kashmir made China's friendship with Pakistan and its position particularly important.
Responding to a question about security, Consul General Yu said there was no economic development without security. "Education and employment are also affected by the lack of security," he said.
On nuclear power plants in Karachi, he said he was aware that they would be operational next year. “Power plants are needed as soon as possible to address the problem of energy shortage. Nuclear power plants will address the long-term needs of this country, "he said.
"There is also a severe water shortage here, but I hope things get better after heavy rains in Balochistan," he added.
In response to another question about the disposal of garbage and waste and how the contract with the Chinese company that was going to do the work here was canceled, he explained that the story had two sides. "The Chinese side is that the Sindh government did not fulfill its part of the agreement and the money was not paid to the company on time and they were allowed to work with their own resources." Meanwhile, Pakistan's side is that the Chinese company did not honor its agreement. But the contract was canceled mainly for commercial reasons, ”he said.
In response to a question about China's investment, he said that in the past two or three months they had seen more Chinese investors coming. “They are eager to invest here, but they also need to know that the investments they make are solid and that they will also earn money here and for this there is a need for a good transport system for the transport of goods, new airports, etc. "We are here for business and commerce, but we are not in a decision-making position," he said.
Posted on Dawn, August 30, 2019