China and Pakistan will look at extending the USD 57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday. The CPEC, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), is part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road plan to link China with Asia, Europe and beyond.
China has tried to position itself as a helpful party to promote talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both uneasy neighbours ever since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.
Their ties have been poisoned in recent years by Afghan’s accusations that Pakistan is supporting Taliban insurgents fighting the US-backed Kabul in order to limit the influence of its old rival, India, in Afghanistan.
Pakistan denies that and says it wants to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan.
Speaking after the first trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Wang said China hoped the economic corridor could benefit the whole region and act as an impetus for development.
Afghanistan has urgent need to develop and improve people’s lives and hopes it can join inter-connectivity initiatives, Wang told reporters, as he announced that Pakistan and Afghanistan had agreed to mend their strained relations.
“So China and Pakistan are willing to look at with Afghanistan, on the basis of win-win, mutually beneficial principles, using an appropriate means to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan,” he added.happy wheels
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