ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Pakistan and China are ‘Iron Brothers’ cooperating closely in all domains with a common vision of building a better future for their peoples and for promoting peace in the region.
PM Nawaz said this while talking to a delegation of Research and Development International (RDI), a new joint China Pakistan think tank on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), here at the PM House.
The Prime Minister welcomed the establishment of RDI which comprises leading scholars and public figures from Beijing and the top business group from Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China, which borders Pakistan and through which CPEC will connect with the rest of China.
In the backdrop of the recent visit of President Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister said that CPEC is the flagship project of the “One Belt and One Road” initiative, since both the Belt and the Road have their meeting point in Pakistan, and would be immensely beneficial for both the countries.
In the presence of President Xi more than 50 agreements/MoUs were signed giving a historic opportunity to Pakistan and China to forge an even stronger relationship, PM Nawaz said.
The premier also extended deepest condolences to the leadership and people of China on the tragic incident of a ship sinking in Yangtze river in which over 400 persons are still missing and many casualties are feared.
The delegation congratulated the Prime Minister and the government on achieving historic consensus on CPEC in the recently held All Parties Conference, resulting in support from the entire political spectrum of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister said a parliamentary committee has also been formed to oversee CPEC projects and to speed up the process of building CPEC.
The delegation informed the Prime Minister that RDI plans to establish China Pakistan Information Corridor as well, in order to support and supplement the CPEC, which would be a one window operation to provide all necessary information to all.
The Prime Minister was informed that Chinese authorities are deliberating to hold CPEC forum every year in Karamay city of Xinjiang. They also invited the Prime Minister to visit Karamay to see the special economic zone set up there.
The delegation expressed interest in exploring areas of cooperation with Pakistan in various fields including fisheries, information technology and agriculture.
They also conveyed regards of Zhang Chun Xian, top Chinese leader of the Xinjiang autonomous region, to the Prime Minister.
The Chinese delegation headed by Dr. Balge Zhao, former Minister for Family Planning and co-chairperson Pakistan-China Joint Think Tank on CPEC comprised Hongyan Zhang, Mayor of the Karamay City of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Yuzhu Wang, Professor National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Zhiqiang Zhang, Director of the Foreign Affairs of the Karamay City Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Qianjun Chen, Red Cross Society of China; Zhifei Li, Associate Professor, National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Dr. Dongri Yang, Cloud Computing Research Centre, Software and Integrated Circuit Promotion Centre, MIIT; Chen Gang, CEO YEMA Group; Liu Xiaofeng, YEMA Group and Dawureni Duolikun, YEMA Group.
Special Assistant to PM, Tariq Fatemi and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Co-Chair, Joint Think Tank on CPEC also attended the meeting.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong was also present during the meeting.