by Jamil Bhatti, Liu Tian
ISLAMABAD, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative has become a living global reality for its inclusive and cooperative nature, and the win-win cooperation will benefit all, said Senator Mushahid Hussain, chairman of Pakistan's parliamentary committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
"This is a very positive and timely initiative, which gives an alternative world view and is vital for Asian countries, for the third world countries, and for the world at large, because this talks about cooperation not confrontation, this talks about connectivity not collision," Hussain told Xinhua in an interview.
Noting that the Belt and Road Initiative is more about bringing people together and linking regions, Hussain mentioned that on April 29, the world has seen that a cargo train from London reached China's eastern Yiwu city in 19 days after covering thousands of kilometers across the Asia-Euro continent.
"It is great proof that China is linking peoples and regions," said the senator, adding that China is reviving the ancient silk route through the modern initiative with huge, monumental and unprecedented scale and scope.
Talking about Pakistan's role in the Belt and Road Initiative, Hussain said that the CPEC is the flagship project of the initiative, and it is the biggest single comprehensive project between any two countries in the history of the international relations.
During the past couple of years, Pakistan has witnessed rapid economic development in the field of energy, ports, special economic zones and infrastructure, he said.
Hussain, who also heads the Pakistan-China Institute, will attend the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held on May 14-15 in Beijing.
Highlighting the significance of the forum, Hussain said it is the first global conference of its kind which focuses on the Belt and Road Initiative. "The forum will provide a new institutional platform to promote the initiative. This institutional platform for cooperation, for corridors and for connectivity will bring leaders together, where they will discuss, review and plan for the future."
"We are going there to convey our success story to other countries, how we are doing it together with our Chinese friends, and how it is important not just for China and Pakistan, but for the whole region and the world as well," said Hussain.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong told Pakistani officials and scholars in an address that China and Pakistan can play a major role in promoting the Belt and Road initiative as "all-weather" strategic cooperative partners.
"If the initiative is a symphony benefiting many countries, CPEC will be the first sweet chapter," said Sun.
"Among the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC is one of the earliest, fastest and most effective projects. Over the past three years, 19 early-harvest projects are under smooth construction with a total contract amount of 18.5 billion U.S. dollars," said the Chinese envoy.
Sun said the CPEC projects covering all the provinces and regions of Pakistan have employed 60,000 Pakistani workers related to the CPEC projects, adding that some of the Pakistani employees are sent to China for training and have now become the backbone of the projects and bilateral cooperation.
China proposed the Belt and Road initiative in 2013 to build a trade and infrastructure network along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which offers opportunities for cooperation and development for all countries amid a sluggish global economy.
More than 100 countries and international organizations have responded to the initiative, and over 40 countries and organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China.
Hussain believed that a new kind of region and a new kind of Asia is emerging because of the Belt and Road Initiative.
"It's not just about linking Asian countries, but this is connectivity among countries, continents, cultures and civilizations ... It is not only an economic issue. It is also cultural because culture means people to people," he said.
"The historical heritage of the ancient Silk Road is now a legacy of ancient China and it is a gift to the whole world in the 21st century."