The article comes days after a top Pakistani Army General said India should shun enmity" with Pakistan and "join the CPEC along with Iran, Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries. (Photo: AP)
Beijing: China is open to India and other countries joining the USD 46 billion CPEC as there is "endless demand" from Pakistan for project finance which Beijing alone cannot satisfy, state-run media reported on Friday.
"There is an endless demand for investment in Pakistan, and although it is possible that Chinese investment in the economic corridor will increase, funding from just one country is unlikely to satisfy Pakistan's appetite," an article in the state-run Global Times said.
"To broaden the scope of investment, China is expected to have an open mind about inviting third parties to join the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). The project could also benefit countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and India as well as other major economies like Russia who may be ideal choices to take part in the CPEC," it said.
The article comes days after a top Pakistani Army General said India should "shun enmity" with Pakistan and "join the CPEC along with Iran, Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries and enjoy its benefits".
It also comes amid reports that China in principle agreed to extend USD one billion soft loan to finance three projects from Sindh, including Karachi Circular Railway and a day after the 6th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting of the project here which was attended by a number of Pakistani officials.
China has already committed to build several energy and infrastructure projects along the route but new projects are being added following criticism from provinces other than Punjab that they have been left out.
As a result, Chinese officials say more projects are being added, scaling up China's investments and the Global Times article reflects Beijing's concerns over "endless" demands from Pakistan.
"The CPEC has made great progress but also has faced criticism in Pakistan over the distribution of projects among provinces in the country.
"At the very least, it has become more urgent than ever to try to ensure an even distribution of the benefits from the CPEC across the whole of Pakistan," it said.
"Some observers have suggested that Pakistani people should think beyond their personal interests and work together to push forward the CPEC. This indeed is necessary, but a more realistic solution would be in trying to enlarge the rewards to incentivise more people to safeguard and stand behind the project," it added.