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Wang Yi: To Discuss Extending CPEC to Afghanistan in a Proper Manner

On December 26, 2017, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani of Afghanistan and Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif of Pakistan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that China and Pakistan are willing to, together with Afghanistan, actively discuss extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan in a proper manner under the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results.

Wang Yi said that the CPEC meets the demand of China and Pakistan and is committed to common development of China and Pakistan. Over the past four years since its implementation, the CPEC has played an important role in improving people's livelihood in Pakistan and promoting the country's infrastructure construction, which has achieved good economic and social benefits, and provided important opportunities for promoting regional connectivity. The CPEC has not targeted any third party, but hopes to bring benefits to the third party and even to the entire region, becoming an important driving force for regional integration. The CPEC is an economic cooperation project and shall not be politicized. The corridor is neither related with existing disputes in the region, including territorial disputes, nor should it be related.

Wang Yi expressed that as an important neighbor of China and Pakistan, Afghanistan has an urgent desire to develop its economy and improve people's livelihood, and the country is willing to integrate itself into the process of regional connectivity. China and Pakistan stand ready to, together with Afghanistan, discuss extending the CPEC to Afghanistan in a proper manner under the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results, and gradually connect the CPEC with the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor through Afghanistan in the long run. With regard to specific cooperation projects and ways of cooperation, we will determine them through trilateral consultation on an equal footing with an incremental approach, starting from the easier to the more difficult ones and from small to big ones. Improving people's livelihood in border areas may serve as an entry point for the extension. In a word, the three parties agreed to jointly promote more extensive connectivity under the framework of the "Belt and Road" and make our contributions to development and prosperity of the region.

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