Beijing has reiterated that neither China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) nor the recent China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ talks target any third party.
Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “CPEC targets no third party. Instead, it is expected to benefit third parties and the whole region.”
Giving details of the first round of the trilateral meeting, held in Beijing on December 26, she said, “In order to realise a larger-scale connectivity under the Belt and Road framework, the three parties [China, Afghanistan and Pakistan] agreed to proceed in incremental steps from easy and small projects to more difficult and bigger ones and identify concrete cooperation projects through equal-footed consultations to achieve common development and security as well as regional peace and stability. This is in line with the common needs and interests of the three countries.”
Hua Chunying continued to insist, “Trilateral dialogue and cooperation does not target any third party and shall be free from any external disruption or disturbance.”
Commenting more on the meeting she said, “The first China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, which was held in Beijing yesterday [Thursday], produced a series of important consensus, as illustrated by Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he jointly met the press with Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani and Pakistani Foreign Minister Asif. There is an eight-point consensus.”
“The three foreign ministers,” Hua Chunying added, “also exchanged views on security cooperation and counter-terrorism, reaffirming their willingness to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation and commitment to step up counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in accordance with the consensus reached through the trilateral vice-ministerial consultation mechanism on counter-terrorism and security. The positive meaning of the first China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue is obvious.”
When asked to speak about the repeated exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian troops along the border, the spokesperson said, “We noted relevant reports. As a common neighbour and friend to both Pakistan and India, China hopes that the two sides could calmly and properly deal with the relevant issue through dialogue and consultation and jointly work for peace and stability in South Asia.”