China and Pakistan agree to extend CPEC to Afghanistan
Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan have agreed to enhance their economic relations by extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is supported by Beijing, to Afghanistan. This move aims to fully exploit the potential of Afghanistan as a regional connectivity hub.
China and Pakistan agree to extend CPEC to Afghanistan: Key Points
During the 5th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, China’s foreign minister Qin Gang, and Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed acting foreign minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi also emphasized the importance of preventing any group from using their territories to conduct terrorist activities against any country.
- According to a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, the ministers engaged in comprehensive discussions and agreed on mutual trust, good neighborliness, security cooperation, counterterrorism, connectivity, and trade and investment.
- In a joint statement issued two days after their meeting on May 6th, the foreign ministers of three countries expressed their determination to fully utilize Afghanistan’s potential as a hub for regional connectivity.
- They confirmed their commitment to strengthening trilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.
- The CPEC, which is China’s flagship project under the BRI, aims to link Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province. India has objected to the CPEC as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
First Meeting after Taliban Return to Power
This was the first meeting of the foreign ministers since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021, and it marked the resumption of the mechanism. China emphasized that the three countries could set an example of cooperation among neighbors on hotspot issues and promote regional stability and prosperity.
The three foreign ministers highlighted the importance of ongoing projects, such as CASA-1000, TAPI, and Trans-Afghan Railways, to boost regional connectivity and ensure economic development and progress for the people of the region.