China and Pakistan are pursuing common development of Asian countries with an open and inclusive attitude, while India has consistently smeared CPEC, which the international community is no stranger to. “The reason is that India is jealous of the development CPEC will bring to Pakistan,” Dr. Liu Zongyi, Associate Professor of Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), Secretary-general of China-South Asia Cooperation Research Center, said in an exclusive interview to Gwadar Pro. “It is constant for India to vilify CPEC, especially when there is major diplomatic activity between Pakistan and China. The construction of CPEC will be accelerated again when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China last month and attended the Winter Olympics. At this particular juncture, it is not surprising that Indian media have stepped up efforts to create trouble to discredit CPEC. Before we condemn Indian media, we need to understand why they vilify CPEC,” Liu said, “There are two reasons for India’s sabotage of CPEC. First, India believes that CPEC will greatly enhance Pakistan’s national strength and thus change the geopolitical balance in South Asia, so it is not good for India. Secondly, India believes that China’s main purpose in building CPEC is to contain and encircle India with the help of Pakistan. They feel that China’s BRI and CPEC are strategic means to encircle India and violate its so-called sovereignty. However, this is not the case. China has always been committed to peaceful development, openness and inclusiveness, and firmly supports the sovereignty and integrity of all countries. With such faith, China has sincerely invited the international community, including India, to join BRI. We have always believed that the international community needs common development, not a zero-sum game. In fact, CPEC is the best example — China and Pakistan have developed and advanced through deep friendship and close cooperation and achieved tangible results.” Liu believes that fake news generated by Indian media may have some short-term impact on CPEC construction. “Indeed, India’s slander does have some short-term impact — not only on the media in China and Pakistan, but also in western countries. Many of Pakistan’s intellectuals were educated in European and American countries. So, under these circumstances, they will have some doubts about CPEC. This is understandable. As time goes on, the benefits of CPEC to Pakistan are indisputable and the deep friendship between the two countries has withstood the test. Now more and more Pakistani people can take a fair and objective view of the Indian media’s false remarks. At least 70,000 workers have been involved in CPEC projects in the past few years for which figures are available. They are the direct beneficiaries, as they earn considerable salaries from the construction of the project. Pakistan, on the other hand, has emerged from a severe power shortage through a series of energy projects under CPEC. Not only domestic but also industrial electricity is guaranteed. In addition, transportation and other infrastructure projects have also made a significant contribution to Pakistan’s economic development. In the second phase of CPEC, agriculture, SEZs and information technology will be the new focus, all of which will bring benefits to Pakistan’s economic development and people’s employment. Therefore, the smearing by the Indian media will not affect the continued progress of CPEC.” As a matter of fact, the false statements of Indian media do not stand up to scrutiny. Liu said: “For example, Indian media like to make an issue of environmental protection. China has built a lot of coal-fired power plants in the first phase of CPEC to solve Pakistan’s energy shortage problem rapidly. But at the same time, Pakistan is beginning to worry about carbon emissions and environmental damage. In fact, those plants in Pakistan are using the most advanced technology, which is also being used in China. These technologies have given coal-fired power stations such as Qasim and Sahiwal a reputation for world-class environmental standards. Meanwhile, under CPEC, the two countries have also signed a large number of clean energy projects to ensure a reasonable and environmentally friendly energy mix.” “Therefore, the lies of the Indian media cannot stand scrutiny and will eventually fall apart. China and Pakistan have always called for common development. During PM Imran Khan’s visit to China this year, I had the honor to meet with him, who pointed out in particular that Pak-China relations are unbreakable. Under this framework, the two countries will step up cooperation and focus on livelihood projects,” Liu Zongyi added.