Turnaround on Coronavirus soon, Pak-China trade never hurt: says Chinese diplomat

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (lNP): Chinese Consul General Lahore Long Dingbin said there will be soon turnaround on Coronavirus and Pak-China trade and ongoing cooperation under CPEC will never hurt.

In an interview to China Economic Net, he said the second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that took off from 1st January, 2020, is expected to open new vistas of trade between two countries. “I do not see Pak-China trade gets bedeviled given the grim situation.
Business to Business environment can never be hurt as usually it is executed online or through phone and other mode of communication.

As real challenge is to mitigate people to people contact that is very favorable for contagious disease. So it is highly recommended temporarily for minimum people to people meetings to prevent spread of virus,” he said.

About evacuation of over 500 Pakistani students’ evacuation from the effected Wuhan city, Long Dingbin said Pakistani students and citizens living there are free to move within their university campuses as all essentials are found within the boundaries of their universities.

Provided 14 days incubation time is over and no symptom is detected, they may fly back to their homeland as per their own choice abiding by prescribed health regulations laid down in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), global institutions and Chinese health authorities.

As matter of fact, there is no travel embargo. Recently, flights from China to Pakistan brought many Pakistani students back to Pakistan.

These Pakistanis had to undergo intense medical observations with quarantine and screening procedures. Having certified unaffected, they departed easily, he added.

He was confident that after a week, grave situation will be all set to improve. It is highly likely that as soon as Coronavirus cases decline during next days, panic scenario will subside. When the people will see entire life back to normalcy and Wuhan as bustling city, travel panic will phase out aucetomatically.

Long Dingbin rejected the reports about suspension of CPEC projects, saying these are just rumours. All of the projects including in the Punjab are running smoothly and under normal construction. Due to Chinese Spring Festival Holidays, the discontinuation came for three days from January 24 to January 26. On January 27, all work resumed accordingly.

Both the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant and the Bahawalpur Solar Park have been completed several years ago, and are currently in normal operation.

Asked how Chinese government is helping out Pakistani students in Wuhan, Long Dingbin replied, since Chinese government is attaching high importance to the well-being of foreign nationals in China, especially Wuhan, Hubei, China has taken effective measures to address their concerns and needs in a timely manner.

To a question, Long Dingbin said, China is willing to work together with Pakistan to diagnose and prevent this epidemic to the best of its ability. The two governments have maintained close communication on this. At present, China has provided 1,000 test kits to Pakistan.

Arrangements have been made in Services hospital Lahore to deal with the Coronavirus cases with required medical facilities.

INP/javed