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Chinese experts welcome Imran Khan's pledge to strengthen bilateral ties

July 29, 2018

KARACHI: Chinese experts have appreciated Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan’s policy of working closely with China to strengthen bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, in his victory speech to the nation on Thursday, laid out party’s future plans and foreign policy directions with major capitals and neighbors including China.

"We will strengthen and further our relations with China. We want to work towards the success of CPEC, as this offers an opportunity for economic betterment, investment and job creation. We also want to send teams to learn poverty alleviation from China, as they pulled 700 million people out of poverty in 30 years," he said in a televised speech.

In an unprecedented development on Saturday, the official twitter account of PTI tweeted for the first time in Chinese language showing party’s eagerness to work towards the success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Commenting on the matter, Editor-in-Chief of highly influential Global Times Hu Xijin said: “We have noticed the new signals.”

On Friday the newspaper published an editorial on Khan’s victory speech in which it stated that China remains a key pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the nature of ‘all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation has lived up to its name, and the conditions that help foster this special relationship have not changed with the rise of Khan and his party.’

“We want to work towards the success of CPEC. We also want to send teams to learn poverty alleviation from China. How to lift our most poor who can’t even eat two meals a day,” the message on Twitter read.

Prof Song Zhihui, director of Pakistan Study Center, Sichuan University, said that he is happy to see the new government has expressed hope to promote Sino-Pakistani cooperation.

However, Tom Hussain, a China watcher and SCMP columnist, opined that ‘the PTI has been working overtime to repair its relations with the Beijing, which had been damaged by its disparaging remarks and allegations of corruption about CPEC projects in the past.’

Beijing has been encouraged by the PTI outreach, but it would closely watch the new government's decisions, he added.

Insofar, China has invested $62 billion in infrastructure projects focusing on energy, transportation and telecommunication under the CPEC in Pakistan.