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CPEC will be a game-changer in regional collaboration: Maleeha Lodhi

CAMBRIDGE: On Tuesday, ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi said during a talk at Harvard University that Pakistan’s relationship with China is strategic, historic, trouble-free and pivotal to the country’s foreign policy.

Talking at a programme “Future of Diplomacy” at the Kennedy School of Government, Lodhi set out Pakistan’s regional and comprehensive plan and highlighted that this replicated national significances and Islamabad’s part as a “critical state” in international affairs.

The national priorities she listed comprised economic restoration, conquering terrorism and removal of vehement extremism in and around Pakistan, protection of the state’s strategic ability and constructing regional peace and stability.

She also termed regional economic cooperation and connectivity as additional key significance. This, she said, is being trailed through various trans-regional projects, which aim to improve scenarios of progress and growth.

She quoted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the most determined and possibly game changing example of regional economic collaboration.

Clarifying on the Pakistan-China relationship, the representative said the strategic development of this association has given the Sino-Pak corporation additional implication at a time of an important change in the global balance of power carried about by China’s rise as a global economic capital.

In current years, she said, bilateral ties have widened and expanded from the outdated focus on defence and military cooperation towards a greater economic and investment orientation.

She labelled CPEC as a serious link in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, as a demonstration of the course this important association is taking.

“This project will bring greater prosperity to the people of the region and beyond,” she said.

As to how Pakistan will balance its relations with China with those with the United States, Lodhi said to those who assign a zero-sum nature to Pakistan’s relations with China and US, a recollection of history would help to overturn this idea.