China leads the world. An international Belt and Road Forum is going to be held in at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing on 13-15 May. The One Belt One Road (OBOR) is the biggest global project of the 21st century. It draws the attention of over 66 countries from across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The main aim of the OBOR is the promotion of connectivity at different levels among nations.

With the rise of China in the past few years, the OBOR has become the grand leap forward to the entire world, underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. The People’s Daily lauded the forum as the “China solution” for the world’s economic woes. OBOR is poised to provide more inclusivity than the Western-led elite clubs and financial institutions. OBOR also promotes south-south cooperation, but at the same time, it does not develop enmity with the West.

The idea of the OBOR was floated in September 2013 when President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan and expounded his will of the revival the ancient Silk Road, which used to be main bridge connecting China with Central Asia, Middle east, and onward to Europe. The geographical route and landscape of these region was changed because of imperialistic policies of the West and instead of connectivity, people of these regions were further divided and subjugated. Moreover, the West and Japan retreated to more protectionist positions, leave the south under-developed.

The OBOR aims at re-connecting over 66 countries irrespective of any ideological divide and the level of development. The OBOR provides an equitable connectivity to all. The OBOR connects 70 percent of world’s population, 55 percent of world’s GDP, and a quarter of world’s trade. About US$ 5 trillion will be spent on OBOR connectivity. The OBOR’s train connectivity from Yiwu in China to Iran, and from Yiwu to London has already been tested as well as linking Kashgar by road to Gwadar was tested in November last. This opened up a new vista of trade links and peoples’ connectivity toward world’s integration.

Leaders from 28 countries will participate at OBOR summit, representatives from 110 countries, 61 international organisations, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also attend. A large number of diplomats, parliamentarians, businessmen, scholars from think-tanks, and academia will also participate to build a large consensus on the OBOR. The audience will exceed 1,200 at the conference.

The Government of Pakistan will enthusiastically participate at the OBOR summit at the highest level and along with a big delegation. The delegation will be led by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that will also included important members namely; Sartaj Aziz, Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Chief Minister of all provinces, Federal Minister for Planning & Development, Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister for Defence, Khawaja Asif.

Prime Minister Sharif has lot to tell the world’s leaders about the amazing progress made on the CPEC projects in the past 24 months. The energy infrastructure laid down has addressed the shortage of electricity to the tune of 11,000 MW. Many projects are completed and many will be completed next year. A sum of US$ 19 billion has already been spent in building these 19 projects. A huge infrastructure of roads and transportation is underway that will transform Pakistan’s physical infrastructure on modern lines, changing the outlook of the country.

Chinese ultimate faith toward Pakistan came in the shape of the CPEC. The OBOR flagship is sailing smoothly in the past 24 months after it was launched in Pakistan when President Xi Jinping offered the package of US$ 46 billion and signed as many as 51 agreements and MoUs. This is largest bilateral package ever signed between two sovereign nations in the history of mankind.

Even at the OBOR Summit, Prime Minister Sharif is expected to sign the deal on the Karachi-Peshawar railway’s track’s up-gradation project of US$ 8 billion, which will revolutionise Pakistan’s railway and passengers and goods travelling to the speed of 160 km per hour. He will have a meeting with President Xi and attend the round-table summit for leaders.

The Government of Pakistan made all out efforts that the flagship sailed effectively. It has achieved all goals targeted so far within the stipulated period of time of completion. The project is far ahead than of its original scheduled. The project has written new history of completion of projects with Chinese zeal and Pakistani spirit of trust with their Chinese friends. The OBOR’s flagship of CPEC brings Pakistan to new heights and the upcoming Belt and Road forum will validate the rhythm of the CPEC and its out-class performance at the international level.