It looks like China, which has invested in billions in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a vital part of its Belt and Road Initiative, is fearful of safety of overseas Chinese citizens.
China has asked Pakistan to provide additional security for its long-serving envoy in Islamabad in the wake of threats to his life from an outlawed extremist separatist group, as per media reports.
In a letter written to Pakistan’s interior ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has mentioned that Abdul Wali, a terrorist tasked to attack Ambassador Yao Jing has entered Pakistan. Wali is associated with the banned East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM) – an extremist group which largely operates in China’s troubled northwestern border region of Xinjiang.
China has also shared vital details of the terrorist and requested Pakistan to immediately handover him to the Chinese embassy.
Because of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China is concerned of the safety of its officials and others working on various projects, in Pakistan. The CPEC project is bound to increase the presence of Chinese in Pakistan.
Earlier this year too, China has emphasized the security of Chinese citizens living in Pakistan after two Chinese nationals were kidnapped in restive Balochistan, allegedly by militants. Islamist militants also operate in Baluchistan, which shares borders with both Afghanistan and Iran.
The $62 billion CPEC slices through the Himalayas, from Kashgar in western China to plains and deserts to reach Gwadar Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Gwadar is a port city by Arabian Sea, which means that China will have a direct access to the sea itself through a route much shorter – and safer – than the existing one. The Baloch nationalists have been critical of China helping Pakistan committing atrocities and human rights violations in Balochistan.