By He Yin, People’s Daily
China will work with Pakistan to aim for high-standard, sustainable and livelihood-enhancing outcomes and further build the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into an exemplary project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a congratulatory message to the Decade of CPEC celebration event.
He gives full recognition to the positive achievements and important significance of the CPEC, offering guidance for the economic corridor’s development and China-Pakistan practical cooperation.
The CPEC is a major and pilot project of the Belt and Road cooperation. It is deemed pivotal by the leaders of both countries.
When paying a state visit to Pakistan in April 2015, Xi said it’s important to guide the two countries’ practical cooperation with the CPEC construction, form a “1+4” cooperation structurewith the CPEC at the center and achieve common development by focusing on the four key areas of the Gwadar Port, energy, transport infrastructure, and industrial cooperation, which charted the course for China and Pakistan to achieve common development with the economic corridor as an important focal point.
China and Pakistan have been advancing the CPEC construction under the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, yielding a batch of early fruits that have injected new impetus into Pakistan’s economic and social development.
The Gwadar port, as the pearl of the CPEC, is now fully operational and steadily marching towards its goal of becoming a logistics hub and industrial base.
Energy cooperation under the CPEC framework has made remarkable progress. Many clean energy projects like wind and hydro power have been completed and account for nearly one third of Pakistan’s total power supply.
The Karakoram Highway(KKH) Phase Two project, the Orange Line Metro Train projectin Lahore and other transport infrastructure projects are operating smoothly, help building Pakistan’s transportation arteries and driving development in surrounding areas.
The first Phase of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone has been officially completed, marking another new breakthrough in China-Pakistan industrial cooperation.
Over the past decade, the CPEC has evolved from a grand blueprint into a concrete reality, bringing $25.4 billion in direct investment to and creating 236,000 jobs for Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the CPEC has injected unprecedented dynamism into Pakistan’s economy.
The CPEC fully demonstrates the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan, providing important support for building a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.
The construction of the CPEC has entered a new stage of high-quality development from laying foundations and defining initial structures.
The two sides have continuously expanded the areas of cooperation, with new highlights created in agriculture, science and technology, information technology and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
They worked together to align the Green Silk Road with the Clean Green Pakistan, strengthening collaboration on green investment, green infrastructure and green agriculture.
China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation is flourishing, and livelihood projects between the two countries have enabled more and more Pakistanis to benefit from the dividends of the CPEC.
China and Pakistan are working to create an “upgraded version” of the CPEC – building a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor. This will surely lift the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights.
The construction of the CPEC adhereto the Silk Road spirit, and has reaped fruitful win-win results. It is a successful example of Belt and Road cooperation and demonstrates that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents China’s commitment to sharing opportunities and seeking common development with the world. It has further strengthened the confidence of all relevant parties in Belt and Road construction.
The success of the BRI shows the inevitable trend toward cooperation and development, said Mushahid Hussain Sayed, the Chairman of the Pakistan Senate Defence Committee. He pointed out that acting on the principles of high-standard, people-centered and sustainable development, the BRI will bring more development opportunities to participating nations including Pakistan and inject stronger impetus into global recovery.
Recently, a landmark building in Islamabad was decked with the colors of the Chinese and Pakistani national flags to mark the 10th anniversary of the CPEC. This mirrored the firm support for the economic corridor from the Pakistani government and people.
China will continue its unremitting efforts to utilize the CPEC as an engine driving cooperation of higher standards, broader scope and greater depth, so as to bring more fruits of development to all Pakistani people.
China will also take the BRI’s 10th anniversary as an opportunity to join hands with all relevant parties to broaden the Belt and Road as a “path of happiness” benefiting the whole world.