islamabad - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan and China are ‘iron brothers’ cooperating closely in all domains with the common vision of building a better future for the people of the two countries and for promoting peace in the region.

He said this while talking to a delegation of Research and Development International (RDI), a new joint China-Pakistan think tank on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which called on him at the PM House on Wednesday.

The prime minister welcomed the establishment of RDI which comprises leading scholars and public figures from Beijing and the top business group from Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China, which borders Pakistan and through which CPEC will connect with the rest of China.

In the backdrop of the recent visit of President Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister said that CPEC is the flagship project of the “One Belt and One Road” initiative, since both the Belt and the Road have their meeting point in Pakistan, and would be immensely beneficial for both the countries. In the presence of President Xi more than 50 agreements/ MoUs were signed giving a historic opportunity to Pakistan and China to forge an even stronger relationship, he said.

He also extended deepest condolences to the leadership and people of China on the tragic incident of a ship sank in Yangtze river in which over 400 persons are still missing and many casualties are feared.

The delegation congratulated the Prime Minister and the government on achieving historic consensus on CPEC in the recently held All Parties Conference, resulting in support from the entire political spectrum of Pakistan.

The prime minister said a parliamentary committee has also been formed to oversee the CPEC projects and to speed up the process of building CPEC.

The delegation informed the prime minister that RDI plans to establish China-Pakistan Information Corridor as well, in order to support and supplement the CPEC, which would be a one-window operation to provide all necessary information to all.

The prime minister was informed that Chinese authorities are deliberating to hold CPEC forum every year in Karamay city of Xinjiang. They also invited the prime minister to visit Karamay to see the special economic zone set up there.

The delegation expressed interest in exploring areas of cooperation with Pakistan in various fields including fisheries, information technology and agriculture.