Pakistan and China ink six agreements to boost cooperation under CPEC


Pakistan and China on Monday signed six important documents to expand and boost cooperation under the ambitious multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, further cementing the all-seasons strategic relations between the countries.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng witnessed the signing ceremony held to mark 10 years of the CPEC, a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013.
The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is opposed by India as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reforms Commission Zhao Chenxin signed the document on the joint cooperation committee of CPEC as well as another agreement on the establishment of an expert exchange mechanism within the framework of the CPEC.
The third document was signed by the Secretary Ministry of National Food Security Zafar Hassan and the Chinese Charge D’Affaires Pang Chunxue to export dried chillies from Pakistan to China.
Member Planning of National Highway Authority Asim Amin and Pang signed the fourth document on the realignment of the Karakoram Highway Phase II project feasibility study.
The two sides also signed the MOU on the Industrial Workers’ Exchange Programme through diplomatic channels and agreed to promote the strategic ML-1 rail upgradation project.
Prime Minister Sharif in his comments on the occasion said the documents signed aimed at further enhancing economic relations between Pakistan and China, adding that so far over USD 25 billion worth of investment has taken place under the CPEC in Pakistan’s power and hydel sector, road infrastructure, and public transport.