China keen to enhance cooperation with Iran on CPEC: Envoy

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Islamabad, Oct 18 (IANS) Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong has said Beijing is looking forward to enhance its cooperation with Tehran through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

If Iran joins the $46 billion CPEC project it would be win-win cooperation for both Beijing and Tehran, IRNA news agency on Monday quoted Sun as saying.

According to Sun, Beijing shares very good relations with Tehran and “we think that Iran can also be a very important country along the Belt and Road initiative, so we really look forward to enhance our cooperation with Iran”.

In a meeting between Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, Iran had shown willingness to become a part of the project.

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The CPEC is a mega project between Beijing and Islamabad under which China will invest $46 billion in Pakistan.

The economic corridor is about 3,000 km long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines to connect China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.

“CPEC is a win-win cooperation so we are looking forward to explore the possibilities of cooperation among all the regional countries,” he said.

Responding to a question if CPEC could be an energy line between Iran and China in the future, Sun said: “We can explore such a possibility.”

There are many projects under the CPEC framework being implementing or under construction in Pakistan, said the ambassador.

“There are 16 major projects under construction and Chinese side has already invested more than $13 billion,” he said.

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