CPEC construction not to be affected by Coronavirus: Cheng Xizhong

BEIJING, March 11 (INP): Chinese scholar Prof. Cheng Xizhong said that in regard to  coronavirous Pakistan is facing a major challenge as neighboring Iran is seeing continuous increase in the number of new infections.

In a report carried by Gwadar Pro App on Tuesday, he noted Pakistan has taken some measures to control the border port with Iran in view of the rapid spread of the epidemic in Iran.

According to Prof. Cheng, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the pilot and flagship project of the Belt and the Road. Both China and Pakistan attach great importance to the continuous development of the CPEC.

Now, some Pakistani friends are worried about the impact of the epidemic on the construction of the corridor. At the same time, some people with ulterior motives in the international community are deliberately amplifying the impact of the epidemic on the construction of the corridor, because they do not want to see the smooth progress of the construction of the corridor. So, we should keep high vigilance.
Objectively speaking, in the short term, the construction of the CPEC will be affected to some extent by the serious epidemic. For example, some Chinese technicians of the CPEC projects returned to China during the Chinese Spring Festival, and some of them have to postpone their return to Pakistan because of China’s efforts to control population movements and prevent the spread of the epidemic.
However, the epidemic situation in China has now been effectively controlled. So even if there’s a little impact, it’s temporary. I believe that after the short-term difficulties, the construction of the CPEC will continue to advance smoothly as planned.
The first phase of the construction of the ECPC has been very successful. After 22 major energy and transportation infrastructure projects have been put into operation, Pakistan’s socio-economic development will hopefully be on the track of rapid development.
With the successful experience in the first stage, China and Pakistan are jointly promoting the construction of the second stage. Recently, I have noticed that Pakistani government has approved the establishment of 10 special economic zones in the four provinces.
At the same time, due to the continuous improvement of business environment in Pakistan, foreign investment in Pakistan has increased significantly. In the first seven months of the fiscal year 2020, foreign direct investment in Pakistan reached 1.56 billion U.S. dollars with an increase of 66% over the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Now, on one hand, China is strictly controlling the epidemic, and on the other hand, China is speeding up the production resumption. If Pakistan can take effective measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic, I believe the CPEC construction will not be affected, he added