LAHORE: The Lahore Press Club (LPC) has officially refuted the dissemination of false information following a visit by the Chinese Consul General to the club. A press release clarified that there is no existing 10-year agricultural pact between Pakistan and China. Moreover, the Chinese delegate made no statements regarding the Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan after the upcoming elections.
The LPC issued an apology to the Chinese envoy for the publication of the inaccurate information. Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lahore, Mr. Zhao Shiren, expressed China’s desire for peaceful, transparent, fair, and timely elections in Pakistan.
He conveyed well-wishes for post-election Pakistan to experience sustained peace, stability, and development. Mr. Zhao Shiren emphasized that the resolution of the Kashmir issue should align with the resolutions of the United Nations.
During a media interaction in the “Meet the Press” program at the Lahore Press Club, President Arshad Ansari and other members warmly welcomed Consul General Zhao Shiren. President Ansari highlighted the strong bond between Pakistan and China, characterizing them as neighbors, friends, and brothers.
Consul General Zhao Shiren stated that general elections are an internal matter for Pakistan, and China will not interfere. He expressed a willingness to welcome whoever forms the government after the February 8 elections and move forward together.
Regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he affirmed that it is a joint venture that has completed 10 years and will continue. China has invested $26 billion in CPEC so far, and construction is ongoing, with upgrades to the electric transmission line. China is prepared to collaborate with Punjab on a ten-year plan for agricultural development, recognizing Pakistan’s status as an agricultural country.
Consul General Zhao Shiren emphasized the friendly relations between China, Pakistan, and Iran, expressing the commitment to move jointly ahead in the region. He thanked the journalist community for its coverage of Pak-China friendship and CPEC.
The Consul General addressed the disputes between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, urging both sides to resolve the issue in accordance with the UN Charter and relevant UNSC resolutions.
Regarding the ML-1 project proposed by Pakistan, he expressed China’s readiness to build it in two phases, from Peshawar to Lahore and then from Lahore to Karachi. Various suggestions were provided to the Chinese Consul General by the Lahore Press Club, and he expressed willingness to consider them.
Discussions also revolved around starting a Chinese language course for club members and coordinating scholarships in China for professional training. At the conclusion of the visit, the LPC office-bearers presented flowers to Consul General Zhao Shiren, who shared his comments in the visitor book.