Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is laying the foundation for sustained indigenous economic modernisation.
In an interview with the Global Times, he said over the past 10 years, the construction of CPEC projects has helped Pakistan reduce the bottlenecks caused by past power shortages and weak infrastructure.
Shehbaz said the government will continue to work closely with China to enhance the momentum of cooperation between the two countries.
Regarding Pak-China friendship, he said the all-weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China is deeply rooted in people’s hearts, covering all areas of bilateral cooperation.
Shehbaz further said that the two countries support each other on the issue of mutual core interests. Pakistan has always firmly supported the One China Policy and believes that Taiwan is its inalienable part, he added.
Moreover, the premier stated that Pakistan-China relations are an important factor for peace and stability in the region and the world.
He went on to say that the development strategy of the coalition government depends on how to repair the economic fundamentals that constrain us from realizing our existing potential.
Furthermore, PM Shehbaz said in order to stabilize the economy, we urgently need to lay the foundation for the long-delayed structural reforms, adding that the government also needs to deepen economic and trade relations with friendly countries.
In his concluding remarks, the prime minister said that public policy transformation from geopolitics to geo-economics represents a consensus that we should realise the potential of to accelerate Pakistan’s development.
He added that the core of our development strategy remains to safeguard the well-being of the Pakistani people and make Pakistan a self-reliant state.
China commends PM’s remarks
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his words uttered on multiple occasions on Pak-China bilateral relations and the China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC).
“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spoke highly of China-Pakistan relations and CPEC on multiple occasions. He is very committed to the practical cooperation between our two countries. China appreciates that,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin in a response to a question asked by APP during his regular briefing.
Wang Wenbin said CPEC was an economic initiative that was conducive to promoting regional connectivity, peace, stability and development.
“China is ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on a common understanding between our two leaders,” he added.
He said on the basis of ensuring sound and steady construction and operation of the existing projects, the two countries would focus on cooperation of such areas like industries, agriculture, science and technology, and information technology so as to build CPEC into a demonstration project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, he added, China had achieved remarkable development achievement.
The spokesperson expressed the confidence that the successful convening of 20th Party Congress would pave way for a new blueprint for China’s development in future. “It will surely and greatly promote China’s cooperation with countries around the world, including Pakistan and make a positive contribution to the progress of mankind,” he added.