ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan launched four mega development projects in the fields of energy, technology, and education under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The dignitaries unveiled the plaques of the four projects at a ceremony held here in the capital during the three-day visit of the Chinese VP. It was also attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, and members of the Chinese delegation.
Under the first project, a transmission line of 660kv would be laid between Matiari and Lahore to transmit power from coal-based plants located at Thar, Port Qasim, and Hub. It would have the capacity to supply 2000 MW with 10 percent overloaded capability for two hours.
The two leaders unveiled the plaque for Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) project to promote industrialisation through optimally priced, world-class industrial infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The RSEZ is situated centrally in the CPEC at the junction of Karakoram Corridor and ML-1 development corridor. It is set to become — and will be designed — to be the key trade and logistics hub connecting Kashgar, Kabul, and Gwadar on the Belt and Road and a high-end host of international commercial, technological, and manufacturing hub.
The two leaders inaugurated the Confucious Institute at the University of Punjab. The institute mainly provides Chinese education, cultural promotion and exchanges, and other projects and activities.
The ceremony also marked the launching of Huawei Technical Support Center to be established in Pakistan as part of Chinese tech giant’s commitment to make massive investment in Pakistan.
‘Institutional, public support’
President Dr Arif Alvi said Sunday the two friendly nations were linked by deep historical and cultural ties and the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ enjoyed unanimous institutional and strong public support.
In a meeting with Wang who called on him at the President House, Alvi congratulated him on 70 years of the establishment of China. Foreign Minister Qureshi and Planning Minister Bakhtiar and members of the Chinese delegation attended the meeting.
The president said both the countries supported each other on issues of their core interest. Recalling PM Khan’s visit to China in April 2019, he said it constituted an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations.
Lauding President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road (BRI) Initiative, he underscored the CPEC’s importance for Pakistan’s national development and reiterated the resolve for its expeditious completion. He also expressed the determination to further deepen economic and trade relations for mutual benefit.
Expressing satisfaction at growing cultural ties between the two countries, he stressed that people-to-people relations were bedrock of bilateral friendship as they augmented bilateral engagements in other spheres of two-way ties.
The president also lauded China’s constructive role in promotion of peace and stability in the region. They exchanged views on the recent developments in South Asia.
Reciprocating the warm sentiments, the Chinese VP conveyed the Chinese leadership’s greetings and noted that the bilateral relationship continued to grow.
He emphasised that bilateral ties were rooted in mutual trust, mutual understanding, and shared principles, and reaffirmed China’s steadfast support for Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts.
The vice president, who arrived here on a three-day visit, also expressed his satisfaction at the growing bilateral economic and cultural ties and assured China’s support in advancing Pakistan’s national development goals.
He also appreciated the smooth progress of the CPEC projects.
Highest civil award conferred on Chinese VP
President Alvi also conferred the highest civil award of the country, Nishan-e-Pakistan, on the Chinese VP to recognise his services in promoting the Sino-Pak ties.
The award was conferred at a special investiture ceremony at the President House attended by Senate chair, services chiefs, members of the federal cabinet, parliamentarians, and diplomats.
Wang signed agreements between the two neighbouring states to further enhance bilateral ties. He is an ardent supporter of Pak-China friendship and has played a pivotal role in spearheading the revolutionary agenda of President Xi.