Associated Press of Pakistan: On June 29, the Karot hydropower project was put into full commercial operation. Can you share more details about it? And what is China’s comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: Let me extend congratulations on the start of full commercial operation of the Karot Hydropower Plant.
The Karot Hydropower Plant is a priority project for energy cooperation and the first large-scale hydropower investment project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project was listed in the joint statement of the Chinese and Pakistani governments. Workers from both countries overcame difficulties and challenges together to complete the project, a process that took them seven years. With a total installed capacity of 720,000 kilowatts, the Karot Hydropower Plant will generate an average of 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which can meet the electricity demand of around five million people in the region and effectively reduce power shortage in Pakistan and improve the country’s energy structure. It is expected to save about 1.4 million tonnes of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 3.5 million tonnes per year, which will help achieve the global “carbon neutral” target and make new contributions to global climate response while promoting energy construction and economic and social development in Pakistan.
China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. CPEC is a key pilot project under the Belt and Road Initiative and an important platform for all-round practical cooperation between the two countries. It is guided by the concept of green, open and clean development and committed to realizing sustainable, livelihood-oriented and high-standard growth. Since its launch, cooperation in various fields under CPEC has delivered fruitful outcomes. China stands ready to work with Pakistan to renew our traditional friendship, deepen all-round practical cooperation and ensure CPEC will continue to blossom and bear more fruits and bring bilateral relations, people-to-people exchanges and economic and social development of the two countries to a new level.
MASTV: Meetings of the G20 summit will be hosted in disputed areas of Jammu and Kashmir in 2023. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry issued a statement to express opposition. What’s China’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: We have noted this latest development. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear-cut. The Kashmir issue, a dispute left from the past, should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement. Parties concerned need to avoid unilateral moves that may complicate the situation. Efforts should be made to settle the dispute through dialogue and consultation so as to maintain regional peace and stability.
The G20 is the premier forum for international economic and financial cooperation. We call on all major economies to focus on steady recovery of the world economy, avoid politicizing relevant cooperation and make positive contribution to improving global economic governance.
PTI: With regard to what you spoke earlier about the G20 Summit in Kashmir. Will China be attending that? If the disputed status is an issue, why is China laying out and implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through the disputed area?
Zhao Lijian: I have stated China’s full position on Kashmir and G20 just now.
What you mentioned are two matters completely different in nature. China has undertaken some projects in Pakistan to help it grow its economy and improve people’s livelihood. These projects are in Pakistan-occupied areas of Kashmir. Relevant Chinese companies conduct the relevant projects with the purpose of helping Pakistan to develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood. This does not affect China’s position on the Kashmir issue.
PTI: My question was will China be attending the summit in Kashmir?
Zhao Lijian: I already outlined China’s position. We will look at whether China will attend the meeting