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August 13, 2018

My warmest congratulations to new MNAs

National

August 13, 2018

Yao Jing

The new National Assembly of Pakistan is about to be inaugurated. Upon this important moment, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the new MNAs. This National Assembly will kick off the new government. As Pakistan's friendly neighbor, China wishes that the new MNAs and the new government of Pakistan will further lead the country to prosperity, development and progress.

China-Pakistan relations are a model of state-to-state relations. As President Xi Jinping put it, China-Pakistan relations should be a model of good-neighborly friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability, and a benchmark for international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI). No matter how the international and regional situation change, China-Pakistan friendship remains unbreakable and grows from strength to strength. Successive Pakistani governments have taken its relationship with China as the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The support for China-Pakistan friendship and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become an across-party, across-regional and across-board consensus of Pakistan.

Thanks to the largest number of ongoing projects with fastest progress, the CPEC has become a major pilot project of the BRI. Up to now, 9 projects have been completed and 13 projects are under construction. The CPEC have progressed in agreed four major areas: ports, transportation infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation. It has so far created 70,000 direct jobs for the local people.

The CPEC is development-oriented. At present, 15 energy projects are planned as priority with a total capacity of 11,110MW. Among which, 11 are under construction or in operation with a total capacity of 6,910MW. To help the "iron brothers" in need, many Chinese engineers headed for the country from afar, worked shoulder in shoulder with Pakistani colleagues, sometimes day and night. Recently, many friends told me that there is less load-shedding, making this summer more enjoyable. This is really good news to me, and the CPEC workers from both countries.

At the same time, I am also happy to see the transportation infrastructure projects advancing rapidly. The cargo shipment from the Gwadar Port is increasing day by day. Gwadar Free Zone has been officially inaugurated, attracting investment from both China and Pakistan.

The CPEC is people-oriented. It adheres to the BRI principles of mutual consultation, joint construction, and shared benefits. Any CPEC project, whether at the stage of planning or construction, is equally negotiated, fully discussed, and jointly implemented by China and Pakistan. These projects strictly follow the principle of market-orientation and the international business model. The CPEC adopts advanced technologies and strict environmental protection standards in the world. The Chinese government strictly supervises the CPEC, and prohibits all Chinese companies involved from commercial corruption. As a well wisher of Pakistan, China would like to help Pakistan march towards growth and prosperity.

Mr. Imran Khan recently stated that he attaches great importance to China-Pakistan relations and the CPEC is an important opportunity for Pakistan's development. I highly appreciate his remarks and believe that new government brings new opportunities.

Developing China-Pakistan relations has always been the priority of China's neighborhood diplomacy. China is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with the new Pakistani government, bringing more dividends of the CPEC to the grassroots and general public in Pakistan, making it a model project for the benefits of both peoples.

China will actively promote investment to Pakistan. The Chinese government will firmly promote industrial cooperation, expand China's direct investment to Pakistan, and encourage Chinese enterprises to actively participate in the construction of special economic zones. China's focus of cooperation will be upgrading Pakistan's manufacturing capacity and expansion of export-oriented industry. We will continue to organise delegations from Chinese private sectors to visit Pakistan and set up various platforms for business to business cooperation. We will continue to promote the transfer of high-quality and advanced industrial technologies from China to Pakistan, establish more joint ventures, and strengthen the brand of "Made in Pakistan".

China will actively expand its imports from Pakistan. In November 2018, the Chinese government will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. As one of the China's agricultural product market to Pakistan. China will, under the framework of the free trade cooperation between the two countries, provide a larger market share to Pakistani goods. China will strengthen cooperation and facilitate local trade between Gilgit-Baltistan and China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region. China will further adopt visa facilitation measures to encourage more visits from Pakistani business community to China.

China will focus more on helping with Pakistani people's livelihood. China will actively promote cooperation between universities in the two countries, establish more vocational and technical training centers in Pakistan, implement the aids for building 50 schools in the tribal districts of KP province, i.e. FATA, expand the primary school in Gwadar donated by China. The purpose is to help Pakistan improve the quality of human resources, especially of the youth. China will consider setting up an agricultural technology demonstration center in Pakistan to improve local agricultural technology, production efficiency and value-added agricultural industry. China will strengthen scientific and technological cooperation with Pakistan, establish a China-Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Science, strengthen scientific research on disaster reduction and prevention, promote ecological, environmental protection and promote green and sustainable growth in Pakistan. The Chinese government will encourage Chinese companies to fulfill their social responsibilities and be more active in sponsoring livelihood projects. We will also explore more pragmatic cooperation with Pakistan in poverty alleviation, health care, etc.

In a nutshell, the CPEC is a joint project, joint asset and joint opportunity of the two countries and the two peoples. China is ready to work with Pakistan to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, making good use of the CPEC to deepen our pragmatic cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, and livelihood. Let us work together to push our all-weather friendship to new heights towards the realisation of building the community of China-Pakistan shared future at an early date.


The writer is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan

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