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Pakistan, China agree to upgrade CPEC

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to upgrade the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and advance its high-quality development during Sharif's official visit to Beijing.

News Arena Network - Beijing - UPDATED: June 8, 2024, 01:19 AM - 3 mins read

Pakistan, China agree to upgrade CPEC

Pakistan, China agree to upgrade CPEC

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping held discussions at Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday during the five-day official visit of Sharif which began on June 4.


Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping have affirmed their commitment to upgrading the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and advancing the high-quality development of the multi-billion-dollar project in its second phase.

 

The two leaders held an in-depth discussion at the historic Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday during Sharif’s five-day official visit, which began on June 4. This meeting marked Sharif's first encounter with President Xi since assuming office in 2024.

 

Accompanied by ministers and senior officials, Sharif and Xi reached a consensus on enhancing the CPEC and advancing the development of the mega project.

 

The CPEC, connecting Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI aims to extend China's influence abroad through infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments worldwide.

 

China has invested billions in various power projects and road networks in Pakistan under the $65 billion CPEC plan. However, the implementation of several projects has slowed in recent months.

 

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, Prime Minister Sharif briefed President Xi on Pakistan’s policies for economic reform and sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernization, and regional connectivity. He emphasized the critical role played by the CPEC in Pakistan’s development.

 

Sharif recalled President Xi's historic visit to Pakistan in 2015 when the CPEC was formally operationalized, marking a new chapter in bilateral relations.

 

He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the high-quality development of the CPEC and emphasized fostering synergy between the development strategies of the two countries through close coordination.

 

Commending President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative and Global Development Initiative (GDI), Sharif underscored that as the flagship project of the BRI, the CPEC had significantly contributed to Pakistan’s socio-economic development.

 

 He highlighted that the government’s agenda for people-centric socio-economic development aligns with China’s concept of ‘shared prosperity.’

 

The two leaders reaffirmed the time-honoured ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ and expressed the resolve to further deepen cooperation across diverse domains, including political and security matters, economic and trade relations, and people-to-people exchanges.

 

They also exchanged views on regional and global developments, including Afghanistan, Palestine, South Asia, and Kashmir.

 

President Xi hosted a banquet in honour of Prime Minister Sharif, where they held another round of discussions on various mutual interests.

 

Radio Pakistan reported that during the meeting, Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects, and institutions in Pakistan. Both sides reiterated their longstanding support for each other's core issues.

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