Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong on Thursday announced that the long-awaited Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would convene later this month.
The Chinese envoy said CPEC had now moved from infrastructure, energy, and development to agriculture, industry, IT, science and technology.
“Urbanisation, digitisation, and modernisation are the pre-requisites for rapid development in the years to come,” he added.
The Chinese ambassador was speaking at the concluding session of a conference titled “Pakistan-China At 70: Vision for the Future” held at the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI)
National Food Security and Research Minister Syed Fakhar Imam, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who heads the PCI as well as the Senate defence committee, also addressed the conference.
While commemorating 70 years of Pakistan-China relations, the envoy mentioned how the two countries deepened their cooperation during the pandemic.
He also thanked Pakistan’s military for their strong support to protect China’s core interests, saying the military leaderships of both countries enjoyed a unique strategic partnership. He lauded the remarkable performance of Pakistan in handling the Covid-19 outbreak.
The JCC is the highest decision-making body of CPEC, which is co-chaired by Pakistan’s minister for planning and development and the chairman of China’s National Development and Reforms Commission.
The JCC makes decisions on the inclusion of any new project into the CPEC framework and also takes stock of project implementation.
In November last year, the JCC was delayed after both the countries could not agree on the future roadmap for industrial cooperation.
Pakistani and Chinese authorities had not been able to agree on a common agenda for holding the fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
In 2014, Pakistan and China had announced that they would deepen their economic and strategic cooperation through CPEC, which is the pilot project of the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese president.
In his special keynote address via video, Chinese senior diplomat Wang Yi urged Pakistan to promote strategic communication with his country and closer coordination on all issues of common interests.
“No matter how the world or the region changes, China will always stand firmly with Pakistan,” the Chinese state councilor and foreign minister.
He asked all countries to unit to defeat the pandemic and work against vaccine nationalism.
Wang also thanked Senator Sayed for his role in promoting Pakistan-China friendship.
In his speech, Senator Sayed said Pakistan-China relations were neither transactional nor tactical or directed against any third country.
Read more: Taking Pak-China relationship to new heights
Speaking about the ‘China model’ of development under the Communist Party of China, Senator Sayed attributed the country’s “phenomenal success” to three factors, namely, quality of leadership that is clean, competent and committed, ability to accept mistakes and do a course correction whenever necessary, and peaceful foreign policy, because China had not invaded or occupied any country nor indulged in military adventurism.
Suri talked about China’s success in eliminating poverty by pulling 800 million Chinese people out of the poverty line.
He highlighted how China had always supported Pakistan’s perspective on the Kashmir Issue, and always lent steadfast diplomatic support on all international forums.
Federal minister Fakhar talked about how China had emerged on the international global stage from under the rule of outsiders.
“China has grown from a struggling economy that continuously looked at other nations to one of the biggest economies of the world. Chinese have invested in their human capital which allowed them to achieve 10-13% growth rate for a persistent 25 years,” he maintained.
“For the third world, there is another partner instead of the US now, and that is China.”
He added that under the BRI, China had brought 140 countries together and was helping them develop rapidly.
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