CPEC a blessing for Pakistan, says PM Imran during China visit

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During the on-going China visit by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, Beijing also told Islamabad to "push forward" the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the heart of the Chinese Belt and Road project the feasibility of which Pakistan has begun to doubt over debt concerns.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged Chinese businessmen to explore investment opportunities in diverse socio-economic sectors of Pakistan. The friendship between the two countries has stood the test of time and has always enjoyed strong vitality.

"No other nation has held so many powerful people accountable for corruption in the last five years", he said, and added that his government and party wanted to learn from China in this area also because white collar crime was very hard to detect.

China and Pakistan signed 15 agreements and MoUs on a range of issues during Khan's visit.

Our relationship is multidimensional, said the premier, adding that Pakistan can also learn from how China dealt with its mega metropolis issues like sewerage systems, threats to the environment and pollution.

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"In political relations and strategic communication, both sides stressed they will continue to view China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective".

"Both sides noted with satisfaction that Chinese and Pakistani banks have operations in both countries".

The two leaders expressed complete confidence on the importance and future development of CPEC. Pakistan has been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, which seeks to re-establish China's former role as the Asian center of global trade by binding it to Europe, African, Southeast Asia and elsewhere through Chinese-financed projects. "Both sides have agreed to establish a foreign-ministerial dialogue mechanism to make overall planning and coordinate in various fields", Kong said besides establishing a working group on social and livelihood affairs under the CPEC joint cooperation.

PM Imran lauded China's phenomenal achievements in reducing poverty and alleviating corruption, and said Pakistan wished to learn from its progress.

President Xi congratulated Prime Minister Khan on his election and assumption of the office.

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No country [other than China] has lifted 700 million out of poverty in 30 years, he observed. China endorsed the concept of market economy at the Third Plenum of the Communist Party a couple of years ago. "These relations have not only benefited the two all-weather strategic partners but the region and world".

China will provide "necessary support" to Pakistan to tide over the present financial crisis but declined to reveal the amount, Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou told media after the talks.

He said Pakistan's economy was badly affected by war against terrorism but China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project was a significant project to give it a boost.

This was reaffirmed during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and China's State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. The two ministers discussed further building the bilateral relationship on the 10-point agenda covering multifaceted practical cooperation.

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