China reaffirms support for economic corridor

Chinese president reaffirms support to an abiding all-weather bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China


Web Desk April 30, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

China reaffirmed on Thursday its commitment to the success of the multi-billion dollar Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.

The reaffirmation came in a letter delivered to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad by Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, according to Radio Pakistan.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed support to an abiding all-weather bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China, which is characterising the two countries as Iron Brothers,” the letter stated.

The Chinese president who was on a visit to Pakistan last week thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the hospitality extended to him and the arrangements made to ensure the success of his visit.

Read: Trade corridor tops Chinese investment bonanza

During Xi’s visit, Pakistan and China signed agreements, including a $46 billion economic corridor which involves major construction in some highly unstable areas, the army has assured its personnel would provide security.

Pakistani and Chinese officials signed a series of more than 50 accords to inaugurate the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will create a network of roads, railways and pipelines linking China’s restive west to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan.

Read: Pakistan high on Chinese diplomatic agenda: Xi Jinping

The project is part of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” plan to expand its trade and transport footprint across Central and South Asia. It will give China easier access to Middle Eastern oil via the deepwater port of Gwadar in southwest Pakistan.

Read: China’s security as important as Pakistan’s, Nawaz tells Chinese president

The Chinese aid also aims to boost Pakistan’s long-underperforming economy, which the IMF projects will grow 4.3 percent this year, and tackle its long-running energy crisis.

Beijing and Islamabad have long enjoyed close ties and Xi’s speech on Tuesday, the first by a Chinese president to a joint session of parliament, was full of the flowery rhetoric that typifies their official exchanges.

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