China, Pakistan Seeking CPEC Extension to Afghanistan

China and Pakistan say they are exploring the extension of their bilateral infrastructure development project to Afghanistan. During the past four years of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing has provided Islamabad $19 billion in soft loans and direct foreign investments, upgrading or constructing Pakistani transportation networks, power plants and the strategic Arabian Sea port of Gwadar. The stage is now set for “expansion and geographical extension” of CPEC to western Pakistan and to landlocked Afghanistan, say Pakistani and Chinese officials. They say later this year Kabul is to host the next round of a trilateral peace and security cooperation dialogue with Beijing and Islamabad and discussions will also include a proposed framework for engaging Afghanistan in CPEC. ...................

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