Q: Iran has inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port on December 3, which is widely regarded as a rival to the Gwadar port being developed by China because of proximity. It also provides a direct way for India to transport goods to Afghanistan. And coinciding with the inauguration, India, Iran and Afghanistan also signed an agreement granting preferential treatment in tariff reductions to Indian goods headed towards Afghanistan. How does China view this?
A: We are glad to see regional countries maintain friendly relations and conduct mutually beneficial cooperation. We hope that such cooperation will contribute to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Q: Port Qasim coal-fired power plant built under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was inaugurated last week. Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan said involvement of Qatar in the project reflects political willingness of China and Pakistan to have peace and stability in region. He hoped other countries would also join CPEC soon. What is your comment?
A: Port Qasim coal-fired power plant is an important energy project under the CPEC. The Chinese side is pleased with the power plant being officially put into operation. We believe that this will play a positive role in alleviating power shortages in Pakistan and benefit the Pakistani people.
As the first project under the CPEC with the participation of a third party, it demonstrates the openness of this initiative. On the basis of reaching consensus with the Pakistani side, China would like to explore the possibility of more countries participating in the CPEC.