Iron Brothers Feel Strength Of Silk Connection

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China's President Xi Jinping, right, meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

With the passage of each day and moment as well as in result of every high level exchange from the either side, economic and political cooperation between Pakistan and China is getting stronger and stronger; however, this strengthening cooperation and friendship does not appeal some world powers which are always busy in creating misunderstandings between both the Iron Brothers.
Basically, Pakistan and China are linked by deep historical and cultural ties and the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ enjoyed unanimous institutional and strong public support. Both the countries supported each other on issues of their core interest. Both the countries have strong resolve to further deepen economic and trade relations for mutual benefit. China also played key constructive role in promotion of peace and stability in the region. China-Pakistan relationship continued to grow from strength to strength. The bilateral ties are rooted in mutual trust, mutual understanding and shared principles.

China has once again assured Pakistan of its unwavering support irrespective of any change in the international political landscape. Chinese government has a firm resolve to stand by Pakistan in all odds, no matter what. The message is loud and clear to pursue the agenda of development and prosperity without taking into account international pressure, propaganda and challenges.
Now on the eve of three day visit of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, both the countries have launched four mega development projects in the fields of energy, technology and education under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Wang Qishan along with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled the plaques of the four projects at a ceremony held in Pakistani capital. 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. The project 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 industrialization through optimally priced, world-class industrial infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 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 be 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 cultural 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.

Moreover, Pakistan and China also signed five documents of cooperation on different projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to further enhance bilateral engagement in multiple spheres. Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chinese Vice President witnessed the signing ceremony also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and members of the Chinese delegation.

Both the countries signed a Framework Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation signed by Chinese Vice Minister Zhang Taolin and Secretary Ministry of National Food Security Dr Muhammad Hashim Popalzai. A memorandum was signed on the Requirements of FMD free zone where vaccination is practiced between General Administration of the Customs of China and Animal Quarantine Department of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research of Pakistan. Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing and Dr Hashim Popalzai signed the document.
The two sides also signed China Pakistan Economic Cooperation Agreement signed by Chinese Vice Minister Deng Boqing and Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed.
Chinese Vice Minister Deng Boqing and Secretary EAD also signed a Letter of Exchange for Disaster Relief Goods between the two countries. The two friendly countries also inked agreement between CMEC and Government of Balochistan and Lasbela University in Modern Agriculture Comprehensive Development in Lasbela.

The document was signed by Vice President of CMEC from China and Vice Chancellor Lasbela University Professor Dr Dost Muhammad Baloch and PS to Governor Balochsitan. The signing of agreements is a proof of increasing economic cooperation between the two countries as these agreements are reflective of China’s strategic interest in progress and prosperity of people of Pakistan.

Factually, the Vic President Wang Qishan paid a visit to Pakistan to revive the spirit of ancient Silk Route and materialize the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping through implementation of development projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and CPEC has come a long way in further cementing this bond. The project will add new impetus to development in Pakistan besides furthering the regional development, The newly launched 2 Es and 2 Ts projects related to Energy, Education, Trade and Technology carry a blueprint of achieving the agenda of sustainable prosperity. In this connection, China has stepped in to help Pakistan meet its energy needs by laying a transmission line of 660kv between Matiari and Lahore to transmit power from coal-based plants located at Thar, Port Qasim and Hub. The project will have a capacity to supply 2,000 MW with 10 percent overloaded capability for two hours.

Also, the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) project, situated centrally in the CPEC at the junction of Karakoram Corridor and ML-1 development corridor, is aimed at promoting industrialization through optimally priced and world-class infrastructure. Thus, the RSEZ is set to become a key trade and logistics hub connecting Kashgar, Kabul and Gwadar at the Belt and Road, and be a high-end host of international commercial, technological and manufacturing hub.

 

In the domain of education, the Confucius Institute at the University of Punjab will teach Chinese language and promote cultural exchanges.

On technological front, the Huawei Technical Support Center to be established in Pakistan, is part of Chinese tech-giant’s commitment to make massive investment in Pakistan. For the burgeoning Pak-China relations, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi gave credit to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successive visits to China, which he believed, had paved way for a stronger collaboration with the government of China.

Chinese government has a special focus on poverty alleviation, industrial development, education, technology, scientific innovation and agricultural development. Both China and Pakistan have a common agenda of improving the living standard of their people.

Qureshi has high hopes of achieving the development target under CPEC as the two countries move forward to mutually harnessing capabilities for the betterment of their peoples. The CPEC has entered into its second phase which focuses on industrial, social and economic cooperation. I am confident that the special economic zones will open new avenues for the progress of Pakistan.
Strong people-to-people relations between Pakistan and China are equally important besides their mutual journey of development. Strong people-to-people relations alongside the linkages and infrastructure between the two countries are significant and will prove beneficial in the interest of the two nations.

Deputy Chief of Mission Chinese embassy in Islamabad Lijian Zhao is confident that the visit of Wang Qishan would help Pakistan and China to strengthen their bilateral relations in terms of CPEC and its implementation. Besides infrastructure development, China is also promoting people-to-people exchanges including 100-member youth exchange programme and encouraging Pakistani students in China to learn Chinese language for a deep-rooted connection, he said. May it the high-level visits or the people-to-people linkages, the story of ancient Silk Route will go a long way to be transformed into CPEC a silk connection beyond iron strength

Founder Chairman Pak US Business Council Iftikhar Ali Malik haild visit of Wang Qishan and urges for deeper economic cooperation with China saying that this collaboration would usher in a new era of progress, prosperity, development, economic growth and welfare of the people of the region. The business community of Pakistan was committed to further boost Pak-China trade relations, increase exports and minimize the trade deficit between the two countries.

Pakistan China friendship was the finest example in the diplomatic history of the world adding the all weather friendship between both the nations was strengthening with every passing day in all fields of life, including economic and trade. Pakistan and China have successfully transformed their diplomatic relations into geo economic partnership. Malik urged manufacturers and exporters of various products in Pakistan to work hard for increasing their exports, however stressed for sustainable efforts to minimize overall trade deficit of Pakistan. Like various other countries, the trade balance between China and Pakistan is largely in favor of China. Pakistani exporters have lot of potential and abilities to increase exports.

Iftikhar Malik said that Pakistani business community was fully aware of its responsibilities to boost the trade specially the exports and earn foreign exchange for their country. Pakistan has rich mineral resources. Precious stones, semi precious stones and handicrafts of Pakistan have world’s recognition. The veteran trade leader urged Pakistani businessmen need to explore more potential of these sectors in China and various other countries. The joint ventures with Chinese for exploration of mineral resources and exporting them can also be good options for earning dollars. China has huge consumers base in the world and it is first door neighbor of Pakistan and has friendly environment for Pakistanis. Therefore, we need to further increase our trade specially the exports.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had also opened new vistas of economic, trade and cultural, relations between both the countries. Pakistan would be the biggest beneficiary of the Belt and Road Initiative, as 20 per cent of the total sum allocated for the project was being invested in Pakistan, which would significantly improve the standard of living of the people. China is fast growing economy and Pakistan has cheap labor and low cost raw materials which makes a perfect combination of creating win a win situation for both the sides..

In a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan Pakistan and China while reaffirming their ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ resolved to further strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres including political, economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges. The bilateral ties were discussed during the delegation-level talks. During the interaction, the two leaders exchanged views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Recalling his visit to China last month to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF), the prime minister expressed satisfaction at the results of the visit and highlighted the significance of high level exchanges in cementing the abiding friendship between the two countries. The prime minister appreciated President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative and underscored its significance for greater regional connectivity and sustainable growth. Reiterating Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister highlighted the extension of CPEC into new areas of agriculture, industrial development, and socio-economic uplift.

He also stressed the importance of further deepening bilateral economic and commercial interaction, industrial collaboration, and China’s investment in Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The vice president thanked the prime minister for the warm hospitality and reiterated China’s strong support for the agenda of socio-economic uplift and people-centered development. He also expressed satisfaction at the increasing momentum of bilateral engagement between the two countries.

Among other things, the vice president underlined the importance of frequent leadership-level exchanges, the salience of CPEC projects in diverse sectors, expansion of bilateral trade in a balanced manner, promotion of investments, and increase in cultural and people-to-people exchanges with a special focus on youth and the media. The two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation, including recent developments in South Asia.

The vice president lauded Pakistan’s constructive approach and new initiatives for forging peaceful and cooperative relations in the neighborhood. He also expressed China’s appreciation for Pakistan’s sustained and successful efforts in the fight against terrorism and reaffirmed China’s steadfast support in this regard.
Similarly, in a meeting with Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, the guest Vice President Wang Qishan discussed various matters regarding promotion of Pakistan-China relations, progress on CPEC related projects and expansion of bilateral cooperation in various sectors. It was decided to further expand cooperation in trade, agriculture and tourism sectors and both also decided to promote partnership between Punjab and major Chinese cities.

On the occasion, the Chinese vice president said he had come to Pakistan on the directions of the Chinese president and he wanted to give a message to the world that Pakistan-China friendship was very strong. The leadership of China and Pakistan was very close to each other, he added that the relations between the two countries were getting stronger day by day. He said it was needed to promote cooperation between Punjab and major Chinese cities in different sectors including culture and economy.

The CPEC had proved a game-changer for the region and the pace of industrial development had been accelerated by expanding economic cooperation. On the occasion, the chief minister said Pakistan-China relations were not between the two countries but an immortal bond of friendship between the two brothers. China had helped its people to alleviate poverty and this unique Chinese model would be implemented in Punjab to eradicate poverty. The Chinese vice president has tremendously worked for the elimination of corruption and China is a role model for us for the eradication of corruption.

Usman Buzdar said participation of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the second ‘Belt and Road Forum’ in China had yielded positive results, adding the belt and road initiative of Chinese president was not only a regional but a globally important game-changer initiative. The chief minister said a new period of economic development had been started, adding investment made by the Chinese companies was praiseworthy. The unique relations would be further strengthened due to the visit of Chinese vice president.

During his stay in Pakistan Wang Qishan along with his delegation visited Pakistan Haier-Ruba Economic Zone here at Raiwind Road, near Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. During the visit, the dignitaries took a round of various sections of the Haier factory and also inspected its products, put on display there. Later, Haier Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Javed Afridi briefed the China’s vice president about the new industrial prospects and research. He said that Haier was fast penetrating into Pakistan’s electronics market through its vast and versatile range of home appliances and other related products.

Earlier, Wang Qishan visited the Taxila Museum and witnessed the archaeological relics of Gandhara and Buddhist civilizations. The Chinese Vice President took keen interest in the artifacts dating 2nd century BC to 6th century AD at the museum, situated some 40 kilometres from Islamabad.
Minister-in-waiting Khusro Bakhtiar and Chinese ambassador Yao Jing accompanied
the visiting dignitary.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar in Lahore, Wang Qishan said that relations between Pakistan and China would further strengthen as foundation of Pak-China friendship was laid on peace, mutual values, experiences and cultural ties. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has helped taking the Pak-China friendship to new heights, he said and added that new mutual opportunities would also be explored through the CPEC. A huge portion of Punjab’s population consisted of youth so that it was needed to create new opportunities in textile, agriculture and technology for them.

About Amna Malik 40 Articles
Author is the President, Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’ and ‘ The Asian Telegraph’.