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China and Pakistan Invite Third-Country Investors into CPEC Economic Corridor

Sept. 12, 2018 (EIRNS)—During a meeting in Islamabad today between Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, China and Pakistan reached an agreement to invite third-country investors to be part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, South China Morning Post reported.

Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, offered his assessment that “inviting a third party will help to ease concerns and the view that there is strategic intent behind the cooperation between China and Pakistan—in particular concerns held by India,” reported SCMP. He said that inviting third countries to take part would also help to improve the global standing and recognition of the projects.

SCMP also cited Sun Shihai, an expert in South Asian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) that

“China needs to reflect on the problems that have emerged as it makes progress with the Belt and Road.... The uneven distribution of benefits among different provinces and regions in Pakistan may have caused some grievances and skepticism within Pakistan—China can make adjustments and address these issues.”

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