China to firmly support construction of CPEC: FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/4 22:12:34

Photo taken on Nov. 18, 2019 shows a view of the expressway section of the Karakorum Highway (KKH) project phase two in Pakistan. The expressway section of the KKH project phase two inaugurated in Havelian in northwestern Pakistan marks another step forward to complete the early harvest project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).File photo:Xinhua

China will firmly support the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and further focus on cooperation in the fields of livelihoods, industry and agriculture on the basis of the sound operation of existing projects, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

China aims to build the CPEC as a high-quality demonstration project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to better benefit people of the two countries and even the people of all countries in the region, Wang Wenbin, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a regular briefing on Wednesday.

As an important pilot project of the BRI and a landmark project of China-Pakistan cooperation, the CPEC has made significant progress in more than seven years of construction. A large number of projects are under construction or have been completed, bringing direct investment worth more than $25 billion to Pakistan, said Wang.

In October, Pakistan's first metro train service, the Orange Line, started commercial operation in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab Province, opening a new era for the South Asian country in the public transportation sector.

The metro line involves Chinese design, equipment, construction, operation and maintenance, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The completed projects of the CPEC have greatly improved Pakistan's transportation infrastructure and power supply, creating more than 70,000 direct jobs for Pakistan, which contributed 1 to 2 percentage points to Pakistan's GDP growth each year, and significantly promoted Pakistan's economic and social development, the spokesperson said.

On October 29, Pakistan's Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the CPEC is a symbol of friendship between Pakistan and China that would further strengthen the bilateral relationship.

The minister said that all projects under the CPEC are being implemented in a timely manner as the government is cognizant of the importance of the CPEC in the country's development and prosperity, adding that the government has created a mechanism through which all the CPEC projects could be completed in a coherent manner.

The flagship CPEC promotes the economic and social development of China and Pakistan, and it is also intended to promote regional connectivity and common prosperity, said Wang.

Pakistan's southwest port of Gwadar, for example, plays a new role in facilitating transit trade for Afghanistan. In the first half of this year, the port handled goods such as wheat, sugar and fertilizers bound for Afghanistan. It completed the transfer of nearly 20,000 tons of goods and provided nearly 1,000 jobs.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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