Pakistan News

‘Pak-China cooperation strengthens exemplary friendship’

‘Pak-China cooperation strengthens  exemplary friendship’

HYDERABAD: Speakers at a conference on Monday termed Pak-China friendship exemplary, saying that ties between the two countries would strengthen their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership as Beijing and Islamabad are capitalising on massive opportunities of development to realise common dreams of the two Asian nations.

They were speaking at a two-day international conference titled “Pak-China Strategic Partnership and its Regional Implications” organised by Sindh University’s (SU) Area Study Centre on Monday.

They said Beijing and Islamabad had stepped up efforts for economic development in Pakistan through bilateral projects, including economic corridor and energy sector.

In her presidential remarks, Vice Chancellor Dr Abida Taherani said the visit of the Chinese President to Pakistan with a cooperation deal of $46 billion — that focused on a broad spectrum of cooperation and addressed core issues like energy, transport and infrastructural developments — would have a greater degree of impact on the lives of people on both sides.

She said that out of 51 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), 30 were signed during the Chinese president’s visit relating to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

It reflected significance of the mega project that promised people new prosperity not only for two countries, but in hitherto underdeveloped areas in Balochistan and Sindh.

“Our leadership is committed to expanding relations at bilateral and multilateral levels. Today the two countries have common interests to promote regional peace and stability by eradicating terrorism, working together for peace in Afghanistan, improving relations with India and enhancing regional connectivity,” she said. She added that socio-economic development of people was a common goal.

“Trade volume between us reached $15 billion in 2015 and both countries have agreed to elevate trade volume up to $20 billion in the next three years. China is on top of the list of the countries having foreign direct investment in Pakistan,” she said. She added that China’s foreign investment inflow in July 2013-June 2014 was $695.8 million.

China’s Zhejiang Normal University Vice Chancellor Dr Lou Shizhou talked about trade opportunities in Chinese city’s Yiwa market and building of the Silk Road. “While trade and energy corridor may be ‘monumental’ for Pakistan, for China it is part of more ambitious plans to beef up the country’s global economic muscle,” he said.

He described the corridor as a “flagship project” of a broader policy — “one belt, one road” which seeks to physically connect China with Asian and European markets and beyond.

He stated that this initiative included New Silk Road which would link China with Europe through Central Asia and Maritime Silk Road to ensure a safe passage of China’s shipping through the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

He stated that this initiative could bring greater cohesion in South Asia, one of the world’s least economically integrated regions.

Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Dr Noman Sattar, Chinese scholar Zhu Lingjia, Fazalur Rehman, Dr Hamadullah Kakepoto and others also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2015

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