H.E. Yao Jing, Ambassador of People’s Republic to China to Pakistan said China cannot afford to lose Pakistan because stability in its neighbourhood is integral to China’s development. He made these remarks on Friday at an interactive policy dialogue organized by Lahore Centre for Peace Research (LCPR), “Pakistan-China Relations in the 21st century” in honour of H.E. Yao Jing, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan. In his keynote speech, The Ambassador of China emphasized that Pakistan matters to China’s vision of development and growth as enshrined in last year’s 19th China’s Communist Party Convention. He iterated that Pakistan’s importance to China will continue to increase because of the all-weather Pak China relations and the centrality of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Mr. Yao also stated that a stable Pakistan is vital to China’s growth. The Ambassador reminded the distinguished gathering that China envisages CPEC to be a lead project for connectivity and peace. Mr. Yao remarked that the project is not only for the benefit of Pakistan and China as “ownership of CPEC finally belongs to the whole world”. Earlier, Ambassador Shamshad Ahmed Khan, former foreign secretary and currently the Chairman Lahore Center for Peace Research, in his remarks, highlighted the unwavering commitment of Pakistan and China’s leadership to build stronger economic and social ties between the two countries. He emphasized that China’s relations with Pakistan are not based on transient interests but have remained unconditional. He stated that the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a huge regional agenda with mutual interests rooted in China’s and Pakistan’s common vision for a better future and prosperity of the region. Rooted within BRI is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative that harbours economic prosperity for the greater benefit of the entire region. He praised the Chinese leadership in promoting world-wide connectivity for socio-economic development and reiterated that Pakistan is also determined in its commitment to support CPEC. The event was attended by the Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin, former Finance Minister, Dr. Salman Shah, former Pakistan diplomats and notable defense analysts and people from the academia.