CPEC expanding to new sectors, says Chinese VP.

Byline: Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD -- Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan opened his three-day visit to Islamabad on Sunday by recalling the strength of the bilateral relationship and expressing the resolve that Pakistan and China would continue to safeguard each other's interests.

On the first day of the trip, VP Wang inaugurated a number of projects along with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the two leaders witnessed signing of several agreements.

Soon after his arrival at Chaklala airbase, VP Wang spoke at a meeting of 'Friends of Silk Road' hosted by the Pakistan-China Institute.

Lahore-Matiari transmission line and Rashakai Special Economic Zone projects inaugurated

'No matter how the international landscape changes, China and Pakistan will always stay iron brothers that trust and support each other,' he told the political leaders, opinion makers and representatives of think tanks, who had come to attend the forum which, organisers say, links communities, academia, media and think tanks.

Recalling Pakistan's support for China at 'critical moments', Mr Wang said Beijing too had always supported Pakistan on its 'core interests'.

He said the world was passing through a time of 'major development, transformation, and adjustment'. The situation, he emphasised, had been further complicated by traditional and non-traditional challenges and conflict between opposing schools of thought and culture.

Mr Wang said China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic partners which would cooperate with each other for development and that their joint undertaking China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a manifestation of those collaborative relations.

He noted the political and public support for the CPEC in both Pakistan and China. 'CPEC is a consensus that transcends political parties, regions and communities across Pakistan. It also enjoys the most extensive and strongest support in China,' he maintained.

Beijing had hosted the first meeting of the Political Parties Forum on the CPEC, which was participated by 10 major political parties from Pakistan. The meeting had concluded with the Beijing Declaration, in which all the participating parties reiterated their support for the CPEC, agreed to further enhance intra-party exchanges, discussions and cooperation and rejected negative propaganda against the project.

Sharing his assessment of the progress on the CPEC and the recently launched second phase, the Chinese leader observed: 'CPEC has come a long...

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