LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: China on Sunday said that some countries were opposing the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project but they would never succeed in their designs. “In fact they are losing their own opportunities for progress and development,” Assistant Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Wang Yajun said during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.The visiting dignitary, who is leading a high-level delegation of CPC officials, said that CPEC is the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which has led to a new era of construction and development in Pakistan. He said China will always stand by Pakistan in this journey of progress and prosperity. Minister Wang Yajun said China esteemed its relationship with Pakistan and due to CPEC project both countries were cherishing their perpetual friendship which was flourishing further.He said the Communist Party of China values its relationship with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and added that the relations between the two parties were be further strengthened with the passage of time. The visiting minister assured all possible cooperation regarding earliest completion of the Orange Line Metro Train project in Lahore. He congratulated Shehbaz Sharif for getting go-ahead from the Supreme Court of Pakistan for completion of the project. He said that early completion of the project was in greater interest of the people of the city who will be able to have access to standard travelling facilities through the project.Shehbaz Sharif said that ties between the two countries were getting stronger with each passing day. He said the CPEC had given a new impetus to the exemplary cooperative relationship between the two countries.He said due to CPEC, Pakistan was making rapid progress. Although some elements were upset because of the project but Pakistan and China will confront such enemies together, he added.Regarding performance of his government, the chief minister said that the load shedding had almost come to an end due to completion of energy projects within the stipulated timeframe. He said the development projects being completed in the current tenure of the PML-N government had no match in the 70-year history of Pakistan.The chief minister said Punjab government had set an international record by completing energy projects in the shortest possible time. The foundation stone of 1263 MW Punjab Gas Power Plant was laid a couple of days back in Jhang, he said, and added that the project will also be completed in a record period of time.The chief minister said Chinese President Xi Jinping will always be remembered as a visionary leader in the history of the world for his initiative to connect dozens of countries under the Belt and Road Initiative. The crackdown launched by Chinese president against corruption is worth praising.Separately, the Chinese delegation led by Wang Yajun called on Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto at Zardari House Islamabad and discussed issues of mutual interest, including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.The delegation also included Deputy Director General Zhang Xuyi, Director Policy Research Office Mr Libin and Deputy Director Hu Xiaodong. Ambassador Yao Jing was also present on the occasion.From PPP’s side, the meeting was attended by Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Faisal Karim Kundi.Published in Daily Times, December 11th 2017.