China to provide Financial and Technical Support in Constructing a Regional Railway Hub: Dr. Chen Jidong

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China is to provide all kind of financial and technical support in the construction of a regional railway hub for Pakistan. The active promotion of construction of the railway project will connect Pakistan with Xinjiang region in china and will enhance the capacity of transportation between two countries not only by land but also add to a new outbound transportation line for western China, said Director Pakistan Study Centre Sichuan University Chengdu China Dr. Chen Jidong while speaking as a key note speaker at the one day seminar on prospects of Pak China Relations at University of Peshawar.

The Seminar was arranged by Department of International Relations University of Peshawar in collaboration with Institute of Policy Studies Islamabad.

He said that the project is in the greatest interest of Pakistan, and will build trade and transport corridors by connecting South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and Western China owing to the country`s geographical advantages.

Dr. Chen said that Pakistan has a railway network not younger than 1861, aging by the day and needs arduous upgrading. The project if pursued will transform Pakistan internal railway system and bring economic revival in the country, he added.

Certain external powers are creating serious law and order situation in the province of Baluchistan, with the evil design to halt the expected development of the area through Gwadar port operations, said the Chinese strategic analyst Prof. Zhon Rong. He added the taking over of operations of Gwadar Port by a Chinese company in the recent past to go with the railway project, can transform Pakistan into economic giant of the 21st Century.

Let me tell the Pakistani people that Gwadar Port is first for the development of Pakistan and then any other country. The American withdrawal by end of 2014 would start the beginning golden period for Baluchistan, he added.

Responding to a question of IR student, he said let us not dispute something for the sack of personal disagreement, let’s do work than making noise, said Prof. Zhon Rong. Gwadar adding that the port will always belong to Pakistan. The Pakistani government has handed it over to a Chinese company because the Singapore Company who was in charge of the port operations since 2007 could not deliver the desired results, he added.

Now that Americans are seeing a saving face exit from Afghanistan, it is believed that unrest in Baluchistan would decrease, and Gwadar operations would eventually succeed.

When a student inquired about role of China in the post 2014 scenario, Dr. Chen Jidong said China prefers participation of the Afghan people into the peace process. We have no favors or opinion to offer on talk of the Afghan government with the Afghan Taliban. The Chinese government wants to play a moderate and neutral role in Afghanistan, he opined.

Chairman Department of International Relations said the old slogans of deeper than sea and higher than himalayas for Pak- China relations must be transformed into something tangible by boosting economic ties. If other regional countries can have alliances and organizations like NATO etc, why can’t we have IPC (Iran Pakistan China) or APC (Afghanistan Pakistan China) cooperation’s to boost regional peace and economy.

The Chinese delegation earlier visited Department of Regional Studies and met with Chairman Prof. Dr. Baber Shah. The delegation was briefed about the purpose and goals of the establishment of the department in a briefing there.

Director General Institute of Policy Studies Khalid Rehman, Secretary General Pak China friendship Syed Ali Nawaz Gillani and good number of students attended the seminar.