Beijing to strengthen CPEC for another decade

Published October 16, 2023
Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong and Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi speaking at a seminar, “CPEC and My Life” on Oct 15. — Radio Pakistan
Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong and Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi speaking at a seminar, “CPEC and My Life” on Oct 15. — Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong has expressed his country’s readiness to further promote the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in partnership with Pakistan.

“We are ready to work with our Pakistani colleagues from all walks of life to further promote the projects in the next 10 years of CPEC,” the Chinese ambassador said at a seminar, “CPEC and My Life”.

“What was agreed between President Xi Jinping and the Pakistani leaders for high-quality, sustainable and enhanced cooperation and support in the fields of security and development, we can implement with mutual consensus,” he said.

The Chinese ambassador believed that Pakistan and China could jointly transform the CPEC corridor into a corridor of love and peace. He noted that mutual cooperation in new fields like industry, agriculture, mining, science and technology, and IT sectors could be expanded.

“Thus, a new chapter can be added to CPEC, bringing the people of China and Pakistan closer in the common future,” maintained Chinese ambassador Jiang Zaidong.

CPEC enters a new phase

Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said that interaction between the top leadership of both countries in China would further enhance the bilateral relationship to new heights as caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar leaves for China on Monday (today) to participate in Belt and Road Forum being hosted by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Mr Solangi expressed his happiness about people at the grassroots level being invited to speak about the positive impact of CPEC on their lives.

He pointed out that people have greatly benefited from various CPEC projects, such as the Orange Train in Lahore, Thar coal in Sindh, and Gwadar in Balochistan.

Changing economic landscape

Discussing the establishment of the Special Investment Facilitation Council by Pakistan to provide one-window facilities to investors, the minister said as CPEC enters a new phase, Pakistan eagerly anticipates increased bilateral cooperation in mining, agriculture, IT, and other sectors.

He emphasised that improving geographical linkages through enhanced road, rail and air transportation systems would foster more frequent people-to-people contacts and enhance mutual understanding through academic connections.

Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi, in his address, noted that the CPEC as President Xi’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project, symbolises Pakistan-China strategic cooperation.

“CPEC has broken new ground in regional connectivity and is multiplying opportunities for economic integration for the entire region, while taking our higher-than-the-Himalayas friendship with China to even greater heights,” Mr Qazi said.

The foreign secretary said that from the Pakistan-China border in Xinjiang all the way to the deep-sea ports of Karachi and Gwadar, the economic landscape of Pakistan has been transformed in the last 10 years.

“Our infrastructure has been upgraded, unleashing the productivity of our large, youthful and skilled population,” he added.

Mr Qazi noted that CPEC ensured rapid economic development in the less privileged and remote sections of the country.

He said that the shared goal of Pakistan and China was to develop Gwadar as the regional trade and connectivity hub, linking it with markets in Central Asia and the Middle East.

“The implementation of such a massive project requires strong political and public support,” observed the foreign secretary.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023

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