Beijing Declares It Is Ready to Upgrade the CPEC
January 25, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Pakistan News
In order to modernize the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and hasten the development of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared destiny in the new era, China has declared that it is prepared to collaborate with Pakistan.
In a related development, acting prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar stated that Pakistan is reaping the benefits of its early harvest projects and is still working with China to carry out the next phase of the CPEC.
“China stands ready to work with Pakistan to deliver on the important common understandings between the leaders of the two countries, deepen political mutual trust, and expand practical cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to a question during a briefing on Wednesday.
Regarding the recent visit of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong to Pakistan, he said that the minister met with Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Kakar, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of the Army Staff, and Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong on January 20–22 to have a thorough discussion on issues of mutual interest and bilateral relations.
The spokesman went on to say that the Chinese minister and Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi co-chaired the fourth meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination. He stated, “China and Pakistan are strategic cooperative partners that are weather-proof.”
Speaking in Islamabad, Prime Minister Kakar stated that Pakistan is reaping the benefits of its early harvest projects and is still working with China to carry out the next phase of the CPEC, having completed the first phase.
The first phase of the CPEC has already been completed, and its early harvest projects are helping us. We’ve moved onto the second stage. During his recent trip to Davos for the World Economic Forum, he was interviewed by CGTN and stated, “We do need more deliberations when it comes to the second phase.” The interview was broadcast on Wednesday by the Chinese news channel.
According to PM Kakar, aviation and road connectivity surrounding industrialization projects was necessary for the second phase of the CPEC.
“Both sides are involved, and we have created a great deal of air, road, and other connecting corridors. The ecology that results from our commerce with one another benefits us,” he said.
Regarding the Chinese economy, the prime minister responded, “I am always optimistic about it,” when asked. Both 1.5 billion producers and 1.5 billion consumers exist. How can 1.5 billion people be divorced from 8 billion people? It must continue to be connected.
The caretaker administration promised on Wednesday, less than two weeks before its term ends, to come up with a strategy to pay off the massive circular debt in the gas and electricity industry.
Over Rs5.73 trillion was reportedly owed in circular debt (Rs 2.5 trillion for power and Rs 3 trillion for gas).
PM Kakar presided over a meeting and gave the relevant authorities instructions to create a workable, long-lasting plan to eliminate circular debt.
According to an official, the PM had previously voiced his displeasure with Discos’ subpar performance and had instructed the electricity division to provide a thorough plan with precise deadlines, roles, and objectives.