Pakistan, China agree to further expand CPEC

Shehbaz is on an official visit to China with a high-level delegation. Xi affirmed China’s commitment to invest in Pakistan despite obstacles created by security concerns and global economic slowdown.

Published: 02nd November 2022 03:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd November 2022 03:40 PM   |  A+A-

Xi and Sharif

Chinese President Xi Jinping, (R), poses with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif before their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Nov. 2, 2022. (Photo | AP)


BEIJING: Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who is on a two-day visit to China held a meeting with Chinese premier Xi Jinping on Wednesday and focussed on expanding cooperation on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Both leaders discussed broad-based cooperation in economy and investment, as well as, exchanged views on regional and global developments and held discussions to further strengthen strategic partnership, reported Geo News.

Shehbaz is on an official visit to China with a high-level delegation at the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang. The meeting was primarily aimed at revitalising the CPEC project.

The meeting took place at China's Great Hall of the People during which the two leaders discussed the broad-based cooperation in economy and investment, reported Geo News.

"Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both leaders discussed mutual cooperation in all areas of bilateral relations, especially #CPEC projects and agreed to further strengthen strategic partnership," tweeted Pakistan's Prime Minister's Office.

Before departing for Beijing on November 1, the premier said that he was "honoured to be among the first few leaders to have been invited after the historic 20th National Congress of the CPC".

He said that the second phase of CPEC is expected to usher in a new era of socioeconomic development that will improve our people's standard of living, according to Geo News.

The premier also said that there is a lot to learn from the Chinese economic miracle.

"At a time when the world is grappling with multiple challenges, Pakistan and China stand together as friends and partners," he said.

A day before the visit, China warmly welcomed the PM's visit and said it looked forward to further advancing high-level strategic cooperation between the two countries and bringing more fruitful outcomes from Sino-Pak friendship to the benefit of the two people.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said that no matter how the international or domestic situations had evolved, the China-Pakistan friendship had been carried on from generation to generation, reported Geo News.

"Our two countries have always supported each other on issues concerning respective major interests and have stood together and helped each other in the face of major natural disasters," he added.

CPEC is a 3,000-km-long route of infrastructure projects connecting China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Gwadar Port in the western province of Balochistan in Pakistan.

It is a bilateral project between Pakistan and China, intended to promote connectivity across Pakistan with a network of highways, railways, and pipelines accompanied by energy, industrial, and other infrastructure development projects.

However, the insurgent groups in Balochistan are opposing CPEC as it threatens the ethnic distribution of the region. This poses a threat to CPEC as Gwadar port situated in Balochistan holds the key to the success of the corridor. 


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