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China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A symbol of friendship and strategic cooperati

Popularity 4Viewed 2997 times 2019-10-9 16:53 |System category:Economy

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), officially initiated and launched in 2013, is a pilot project under the umbrella of One Belt One Road (OBOR).

Ever since China and Pakistan established a deal and signed agreements on launching one of the largest megaprojects in the history of Pakistan, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), huge developments have taken place in the progress and implementation of the project activities. The project provides a win-win situation for both brotherly nations.

CPEC is a mega project undertaken in collaboration and support of China that aims at benefitting all the citizens of Pakistan. The project is based on President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative which aims at a progressive and futuristic vision for China to enhance the trade and bilateral relations of China with its partners. The project will link Kashgar region of Xinjiang Province in the west of China to Gwadar Port in the Southwestern region of Pakistan through a long stretch of all-weather highways extending to 2200 km in length.

The multi-billion dollars project covers a variety of fields and areas. During the course of the project, China is expected to pump 60 billion dollars of investments into different schemes under the project. Apart from highways and expressways, the project works along the route include the construction of new railway lines, airports, schools and colleges, health centers, telecommunication systems, water supply schemes, coal-fired power plants, and renewable energy power plants.

The cost of covering these projects is approximated to be over USD 38 billion, which is roughly 60 percent of the total cost. The scope and diversity of these sub-projects show that CPEC is not only based on economic benefits but also the social welfare of the people. All these projects are believed to have enormous implications in the economic stability and growth of Pakistan by the creation of thousands of new employment opportunities, enhancement in the standard of living, use of unemployed lands and exploration of the available resources.

In April 2015, President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Pakistan, presented his “One plus Four” strategy for the construction of CPEC schemes including Gwadar Port, Infrastructure, Industrial cooperation, and energy sector.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, the first phase of the CPEC key projects including development of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and construction of the main Gawader seaport, are completed and the port’s operations have already been initiated. The first outgoing shipment of containers carrying Chinese goods departed from Gwadar port on November 13, 2016, and since then the trade volume of merchandise goods through the port has shown an upward trend.

On July 13, 2018, CPEC achieved another landmark with the completion of the China-Pakistan Cross-Border Fiber Optic project which covered a total length of 820 km extending from Khunjerab Pass in the west of China to Rawalpindi in the center of Pakistan. This project gave a further boost to the telecommunication sector nationwide.  

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, after joining the office, made his first three days official visit to China on November 2, 2018. During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the First China International Expo held in Shanghai.  Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan clarified that the project will bring significant levels of social and economic opportunities for the people of Pakistan. He further reiterated the importance of CPEC and stressed that CPEC in the interest of Pakistan.

Recent Developments 

The following year, on March 20, 2019, the foreign ministers of both China and Pakistan met for the first strategic dialogue. Talking about CPEC, State Councilor Wang Yi highlighted the vision of the CPEC and its implications on a wider level in terms of the developments in different fields and regions across Pakistan. The dialogue ended on a positive note with both parties agreeing on the promotion of the project activities and expansion of mutual cooperation for completion of all the projects and activities under CPEC.

In a recent event, a high level delegation from Pakistan in the Leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived at Beijing International Airport on Tuesday October 8, 2019 as part of two days official visit to China. 

In a press release of Inter-Services Public Relations, during the visit Prime Minister Imran Khan met with the President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

On Wednesday, October 09, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with President Xi. President Xi proclaimed that “China and Pakistan relations are rock solid and unbreakable”. Both leaders vowed to strengthen exchanges and agreed to coordination to accelerate the construction of CPEC project.

According to news reports, in another high level meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Premier Li agreed on strengthening bilateral ties and enhance cooperation. Premier Li urged on continuous and mutual efforts to promote high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

On the occasion, the two counterparts witnessed signing of 27 new agreements related to trade, livelihood and development.

According to the Ministry of Foreign affairs office Pakistan, the visit focused on three main issues including the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Kashmir Conflict and the investment opportunities in Pakistan.

 

“The visit will be instrumental in further cementing Pakistan’s economic, investment and strategic ties with China,” said a PM office statement.

During the visit, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan also gave a keynote Speech at Pakistan-China Trade and Investment Opportunities in the New Era. Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said, “A CPEC authority has been established as CPEC provides huge opportunities for investors and businessmen”.

CPEC, according to many analysts is a game-changer project. The trickle-down effect of the welfare of the project on all the stakeholders including the common citizens of Pakistan can already be witnessed in the growing economy.

The project not only reflects another milestone in the achievement of another mega project but is also a symbol of the strong bond of friendship between “Iron Brothers” which will further the linkages and mutual trust between China and Pakistan. 

CPEC Projects_Image by CPEC Pakistan

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on November 2, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan witness the signing of a series of cooperation documents after their talks, Beijing, October 8, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (7 comments)

Reply Report ninafetuu 2019-10-10 22:07
Iron brothers as strong as always. Quite detailed article.
Reply Report imranurrahman 2019-10-12 10:13
As President Xi said,"Rock-Solid and Unbreakable".
Reply Report GhostBuster 2019-10-13 18:14
China civilization is built on philosophy passed through thousands of year. Wisdom is her guide and perservance as her light, China will and is always a friend of all nations on Earth! MARK THESE WORDS!
Reply Report imranurrahman 2019-10-15 16:06
China is focused on development and cooperation on the notion of "Deepening Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations For an Asian Community with a Shared Future".
Reply Report sulagu 2019-10-16 14:27
To Pakistan, it means a huge  boost to economy of national scale. To China, it is a good start and big push to Belt and Road strategy.  For one thing, China will get an easy  outlet to Middle east , Africa, and Europe, that will change the balnce of power not only in above mentioned regions, but also in  India Ocean and  South East Asia as well.
Reply Report adbistro 2019-10-24 14:52
Both countries will enjoy the outcomes from this project but Pakistan will have more benefits as it will support the economy in both short and long run.
Reply Report imranurrahman 2019-10-26 18:51
Future prospects of cooperation and strong relations are also bright as CPEC projects are underway.

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