Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa that those who oppose his pet projects - the BRI and the CPEC - will "never succeed" as these are initiatives aimed at fostering peace and development. The USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of President Xi aimed at enhancing China's influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.
India has opposed the CPEC project and protested to China as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). General Bajwa, who is in China, called on Xi after his meetings with the top Chinese military officials, including General Zhang Youxia, the vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission.
"While we work for peace, we need to stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve. We greatly value Chinese support...," Bajwa said.
He met Xi on a special invitation and they discussed regional security environment, challenges and way forward, Pakistan military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
"Those who oppose the BRI or the CPEC shall never succeed as this is an initiative of peace and development not only for China but for region and beyond," it quoted Xi as saying.
Terming Pakistan as "our time-tested iron friend", he said the country had a pivotal role towards this lasting relationship. He acknowledged the role of the Pakistan armed forces towards regional peace and stability. President Xi said that China shall continue to support Pakistan as a strategic partner.
Bajwa said that Pakistan understands the importance of peace and has given lot of sacrifices for achieving it.He said the BRI, with the CPEC as its flagship project, is destined to succeed despite all odds and the Pakistan Army shall ensure security of the CPEC at all costs, the statement said.
Xi said the two sides have been keeping "highly aligned" with each other on major international and regional issues, state-run Global Times reported. China always places a high premium on China-Pakistan relations, he said, adding that the two sides had maintained a high level of mutual trust on issues of each other's major concerns.
"As long as high-degree mutual trust and concrete measures are in place, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor construction will succeed and deliver benefits to people of the two countries.
"At present, the international and regional situation is undergoing complex changes and the two countries are supporting each other, helping each other and enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation, which have yielded fruitful outcomes," Xi said, adding that such efforts comply with the trend of the times.