China finds alternate to CPEC in Iran. Move to stabilise Iran economy, increase its influence. Chinese investment to intensify Washington, Beijing struggle. Pakistan could have attracted heavy Chinese investment.

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(September 16, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said China has decided to invest $410 billion in different sectors of the Iranian economy.

The repercussions of the Chinese decision to invest in energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing would be felt globally and it will add to tensions between Washington and Beijing, he said. The move will secure the Chinese economy, strengthen the Iranian economy, increase its influence at the regional and global levels and escalate the insecurity among Arab nations.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that China was uneasy over slow progress on CPEC and the cold attitude of our government to please IMF which prompted them to look for alternatives. Moreover, China is dependent on energy supplies from the countries which are considered part of American block which is a threat to its security.

He said that the power equation in the Middle East will be changed and Iran can effectively play its role in various countries including Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

The former minister noted that investment in Iran was considered an alternative to CPEC and Beijing believes that it would be immune of American, Indian and Arab influence.  He said that close ties can stabilize the Iranian economy as China can buy its entire oil and gas production even if production is doubled while new gas pipeline could also be laid down.

Chinese leadership can also establish a naval base at Iranian port of Chahbahar in which India has invested heavily, he noted. He said that Pakistan could have attracted the investment by avoiding cold attitude and continuity in cordial relations with the important neighbour.

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