China assures expeditious development of CPEC phase 2: Imran aide

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Pakistan’s ties with China are the cornerstone of Islamabad’s foreign policy, said Pakistan Prime Minister on Sunday, inadvertent admission that his country’s foreign policy is completely dependent upon Beijing….reports Asian Lite News

China has given the assurance of expeditious development of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Pakistan Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor.

This assurance was made during Imran Khan’s 4-day visit to Beijing, Radio Pakistan reported.

This statement comes after Pakistan and China on Friday inked the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under Beijing’s multi-billion CPEC project.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, Mansoor said the leadership of Chinese companies during meetings with Imran Khan appreciated the environment and facilitation being provided by Pakistan to the Chinese investors.

Pakistan’s ties with China are the cornerstone of Islamabad’s foreign policy, said Pakistan Prime Minister on Sunday, inadvertent admission that his country’s foreign policy is completely dependent upon Beijing.

He underscored that the Pakistan-China relationship was “the cornerstone of its foreign policy” as both sides reiterated their support on issues “concerning each other’s core interests”, according to The Express Tribune.

“The leaders of the two countries held an in-depth exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as the regional situation and international political landscape,” said a joint statement after the meeting.

Stressing the need for structural reforms, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week had said Pakistan can improve its economic connectivity if the USD 60 billion CPEC is implemented successfully.

“The CPEC is an initiative to build economic connectivity and regional integration between the PRC and Pakistan. However, the CPEC alone will not bring optimal results. Structural reforms for private sector development are needed as well,” the ADB had said in a report.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a series of meetings with leaders of China’s leading state-owned and private companies in Beijing. (Photo: Twitter@PakPMO)

On Sunday, former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that CPEC is currently stalled under Imran Khan-led PTI government.

Taking credit for the planning and execution of CPEC projects, Abbasi said all projects were completed during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s term while funding to the ongoing project stopped during the current government’s tenure.

In 2015, China announced an economic project in Pakistan worth USD 46 billion. With the CPEC, Beijing aims to expand its influence in Pakistan and across Central and South Asia in order to counter the influence of the United States and India.

The CPEC project would link Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China’s western Xinjiang region. (ANI)

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