Former Pakistan PM slams propaganda, says CPEC is a win-win for both countries
Editor's note: China and Pakistan have long enjoyed a good relationship that withstands the test of changes in regional and international environments. However, there is continuous criticism over the two countries' cooperation in various fields. CGTN spoke to former Pakistani prime minister Shaukat Aziz on the sidelines of Understanding China Conference in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province to have his insights on China-Pakistan relations. The views expressed in the video are his own and not necessarily those of CGTN. The following is a transcript of the interview.
CGTN: Do you think China is using CPEC as a political tool?
Aziz: The Pakistan-China Economic Corridor is a win-win for both countries. It is not helping just one country and hurting the other, or vice versa. On the contrary, I think both parties are beneficiaries.
China has been a very reliable friend of Pakistan for a long, long time. And whenever we needed help, China stood by us. China has been helpful. China has been a partner. China has been an elder brother, so to say. And I think people will say things without much thought sometimes.
The fact is that One Belt, One Road (the Belt and Road Initiative) is a very unique concept introduced by China, and now it's spreading all over the world. So, there may be some centers of power who feel a bit uneasy and nervous. So they start these things, through the local press or through other means, to create propaganda, which is not factually correct. And it's not materially correct.
CGTN: What do you think is China's role in resolving the Kashmir issue?
Aziz: I think China knows that whenever there is tension between countries, they will try to be helpful to their friends so that it is settled peacefully.
China never encourages tension between countries. China is a very responsible power. They are a permanent member of the Security Council, and they have the interest of the world also in their view. I think one should not bring China into the Pakistan-India conflict.
CGTN: It is said the so-called China-Pakistan axis is aimed at isolating India. Do you agree?
Aziz: I don't think that China-Pakistan relationship is in any way trying to isolate any country, whether it's India or anyone else.
That is negative politics and negative diplomacy. Certainly China and Pakistan don't believe in that. They do believe that the rights of all countries should be protected.
You know India and Pakistan have had many conflicts. India has often tried to create trouble for us. For example, you mentioned earlier the Kashmir issue. They sent a plane which crossed our border and we shot it down of course. Otherwise nobody would have known and our army and the air force did a superb job. And so India was exposed that they were violating our sovereignty by crossing the national border.
So, these things will happen. But fundamentally, we want peace with India, too. We have no desire to constantly be at a tense relationship. But when to have a friendly relationship, it has to be based on equality and interest of both sides should be kept in view. And frankly, war or tension is no solution to any issues.
Interviewer: Yang Chuchu Videographer: Gao Chong Video editors: Yu Qianhui and Yu Yingtian Producer: Bi Jianlu Chief editors: Lin Dongwei and Wang Dewei Supervisor: Mei Yan
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