Those who oppose the Belt and Road Initiative or China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will “never succeed” as it is a project of “peace and development, not only for China but for region and beyond”, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the Pakistan Army chief on Wednesday. India opposes the project as part of it would pass through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Bajwa is in China, where he met Xi and senior officials of the Chinese military. Xi applauded Pakistan’s vital role in promoting cordial ties with China, describing it as “our time-tested iron friend”, according to the Pakistan military’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations. He also acknowledged the role of the Pakistan Army in furthering regional peace and stability.

“While we work for peace, we need to stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve,” said Bajwa. “We greatly value Chinese support.”

During a visit to Pakistan earlier this month, a high-level Chinese delegation led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi had spoken about completing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to promote bilateral ties. “Friendship with China is a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” Prime Minister Imran Khan had said, adding that his government is committed to implementing the CPEC.