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China in the loop on CPEC expansion, says Fawad

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said China has been taken into confidence over Islamabad’s invitation to Saudi Arabia to invest in the Beijing-funded, multi-billion dollar infrastructure corridor being constructed in Pakistan

In response to a tweet by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Ahsan Iqbal, asking whether or not China has been taken into confidence, the minister answered in the affirmative.

He said: “Yes China has been taken into confidence, expansion of CPEC is in China and Pakistan interest. Pak [wi]ll be a centre of economic activity of this region, era of darkness is over.”

Earlier, the PML-N leader tweeted: “Has China been taken into confidence? CPEC is a bilateral project in which induction of any other country has to have concurrence of both sides.”

Yesterday, Fawad Chaudhry said Islamabad has invited Saudi Arabia to invest in the multi-billion dollar infrastructure corridor.

“Saudi Arabia is the first country whom we have invited to join CPEC as third partner,” Mr Chaudhry told reporters in Islamabad after Khan’s maiden foreign trip to the oil-rich kingdom.

He said a Saudi delegation including the finance and energy ministers will visit Pakistan in the first week of October to lay the foundations for “big financial cooperation” between the two countries.

He did not give further details of the new “partnership”, but said Saudi Arabia would have direct investments in major projects under the proposal.

“So now in CPEC, our third strategic partner and economic partner will be Saudi Arabia and by the grace of God huge investments will come from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan,” he said.

China’s massive “Belt and Road” initiative seeks to revive ancient trade routes through a massive rail and maritime network via $1 trillion in investments across Asia and Europe.

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