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Chinese leaders to hold crucial talks with visiting Pak leadership

By Our Correspondent
April 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Chinese leadership will have crucial negotiations with visiting Pakistani leadership during second Belt and Road summit commencing in the last week of this month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend the summit heading a strong delegation. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) already declared by China as “flagship project” of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI), would come under discussion extensively between the two countries in their bilateral meetings being scheduled on the occasion.

In the meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoguan have also announced to attend the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation. It is believed that the two giants will dominate the event since their presence will be source of added “concern” for some western countries including one across the Atlantic which is harshly opposed to the idea.

Diplomatic sources told The News/Jang here on Saturday that China as part of its cosmetic diplomacy has been expressing satisfaction about the work and its pace regarding the CPEC ever-since new government has come in office in Pakistan but it is genuinely worried regarding certain speculations and assertions made by some governmental political high ups here about the gigantic project. It is understood that the Chinese leaders will discuss enhancing cooperation but simultaneously seek some clarifications with regard to the project and pace of work being carried out on it.

The sources maintained that delegation from Pakistan will have to walk on tight rope during its talks in Beijing. Availing the opportunity Prime Minister Imran Khan will have meetings with few world leaders on the brinks of the summit. The diplomatic channels are working on the plan for such meetings including one with the Russian and Turkish Presidents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Beijing from April 26-27 to take part in the forum. The Russian leader would be the main guest of the event. The diplomatic sources reminded that China’s Belt and Road Initiative appears to be developing increasingly as a joint project, and especially so when it comes to two main factors: Russian military support for Chinese assets when the going gets tough, such as the recent situation in Venezuela, and again when it comes to the overall infrastructure development of Eurasia.

Both countries appear committed to the longer-term objective of their proposed “Greater Eurasian Partnership.” The implications of this Union will be profound and far reaching.

Turkey has also announced its support for the idea of reviving the ancient Silk Road. "We support the Belt and Road Initiative of China since the beginning as a 'win-win' concept," Turkey has stated. Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims at to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa through the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

China and the participating countries will seek greater complementarities between the BRI and their development strategies, align up the key projects from the implementations of the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and pay more attention to improving the lives of the ordinary people. It will include a series of events, such as leaders' round table, high-level meeting, thematic forum, CEO conference, under the theme of Belt and Road cooperation shaping a brighter shared future.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang has said there will also be more side events, including 12 thematic forums focusing on practical cooperation and for the first time a conference organised specifically for the business community. Wang said the second forum aims at to bring about a high quality Belt and Road cooperation, and China looks forward to a full exchange of views on the future cooperation plans.

Wang said China will act the spirit of win-win, focus on improving physical connectivity, build a stronger momentum for common development, and forge an even closer partnership. China will champion openness and cooperation, support economic globalization, uphold multilateralism, and work with all to make the world economy an open one, Wang noted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping who has emerged as far more powerful leader after his re-election will deliver a keynote speech during the opening ceremony. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, or BRF, will have more foreign heads of state and government than the previous forum. It will include a series of events, such as leaders' round table, high-level meeting, thematic forum, CEO conference, under the theme of Belt and Road cooperation shaping a brighter shared future.