ISLAMABAD

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not only set up the strategic framework for increasing cooperation between China and Pakistan but it would also contribute to development and prosperity of the whole region.

The most important projects to be completed under the CEPC initiative included Gwadar Port, the second phase of the upgrading project of Karakoram Highway, Motorway project between Karachi and Lahore, Thakot Havelian Motorway, Gwadar Port Expressway, Gwadar International Airport and Karachi Sukkur Motorway.

Reiterating the commitment and resolve of Chinese government for its completion, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Liu Jianchao briefed a delegation of journalists from Pakistan and Afghanistan which recently visited Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing that the one of the purposes of building China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to promote regional development.

It is important for the countries of entire region to support this initiative.

The Chinese leadership has been appreciating ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists and militants as the maintenance of peace is vital for development of CPEC. Commending Pakistan’s Armed Forces role, Liu Jianchao said, “China pays glowing tributes to the sacrifices rendered by the people, government and the Armed Force of Pakistan in fighting the menace of terrorism.” He said that some terrorist elements were still present in Pakistan and they could damage the Pakistani government, its people and also CPEC, adding, “We will provide assistance to Pakistan to make sure that no force will be able to stop the development of CPEC.” A senior Chinese diplomat also said in Islamabad that the CPEC is not limited to a road but it will connect the country with a number of motorway and infrastructure projects.

The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping early this year had provided a strategic framework for broadening avenues of cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields.

The state visit launched a new chapter in the bilateral relations and both the countries should take this opportunity to promote implementation of the projects announced during the visit.

The two sides during the visit agreed to increase collaboration in areas of energy, finance, commerce, banking, industry and education.

The bilateral relations between Pakistan and China are based on two-pronged of cooperation including economic and security cooperation.

The two countries agreed to formulate 1 plus 4 structure of cooperation comprising China Pakistan economic corridor as the main component with important projects, he added.

According to economic experts, soon after taking oath of his office, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to initiate a great number of projects in a bid to correct the ailing economy of the country.

Of the many projects, power seems the most crucial sector, a sector that would strengthen other sectors of the economy.

These projects have, enthusiastically, been taken on by the strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China, now being referred to as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an under-construction development programme to connect Gwadar Port in southern Pakistan to China’s northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang via highways, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas.

When the corridor is constructed, it will serve as a primary gateway for trade between China and the Middle East and Africa.

The project received a major boost when control of Gawadar was transferred to China’s state-owned China Overseas Ports Holding in February 2013.

Built by Chinese workers and opened in 2007, Gwadar is undergoing a major expansion to turn it into a full-fledged deep-water commercial port.

Pakistan and China have signed agreements for constructing an international airport at Gwadar, upgrading a section of the 1,300- Kilometre Karakorum Highway connecting to Islamabad and laying a fibre-optic cable from the Chinese border to the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

With the development of the corridor Central Asia, traditionally an economically closed region owing to its geography and lack of infrastructure, will have greater access to the sea and to the global trade network.

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Secretariat was inaugurated in Islamabad on August 27, 2013.

On November 2014, Chinese government announced that it will finance Chinese companies to build US $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of CPEC.

Documents show that China has promised to invest around $33.8 billion in various energy projects and $11.8 billion in infrastructure projects which will be completed by 2017 at the most. The deal includes $622 million for Gwadar port. Under the CPEC agreement, $15.5 billion worth of coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects will add 10,400 megawatts of energy to the national grid of Pakistan.

Physically, the corridor is a 2,700-Kilometre highway that stretches from Kashghar to Gwadar through Khunjrab.

But in essence, these road and rail links will further strengthen the bond of brotherhood, as highlighted by the two governments.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor from Kashgar to Gwadar will integrate the economies of the two friendly countries. The project is establishing several economic zones and physical links connecting Pakistan and China.

Both the countries believe that this economic corridor will benefit new emerging regional cooperation in South Asia.

This project is set out to transform the future of the region, driven by economy and energy, and the building of pipelines and ports with roads rail infrastructure.

According to a senior official in the Planning Commission, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is strategically important for both countries keeping in view the growing regional trade and investment collaboration.