Byline: Imtiaz Rafi Butt
In the last week of May, 2019, the Chinese Vice President, Wang Qishan made a historical visit to Pakistan. The visit was marked with momentous events such as the commemoration of 68 years of "Iron Brother" diplomacybetween the two countries and the highest award, Nishan-e-Pakistan for a foreign leader presented by the President of Pakistan to Mr. Wang Qishan. The Vice President came to gauge the progress of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects while addressing the complexity of geostrategic dimensions of the Belt and Road Project.
The creation of special economic zones and expansion of CPEC into agriculture sector was yet another development. But the most critical part of this visit was its strategic timing and regional position in Asia, especially the US-Iran tensions and what it means for Pakistan and China. In all its convoluted peripherals, China could come out as the ultimate victor with the advent of CPEC in the wake of a US-Iran War.
The expansion of CPEC projects and their progress was the key element of Mr. Wang Qishan's visit. He made his visit with a highly powered contingent of Chinese diplomats and officials. By this time, both Pakistan and Chinese governments are conscious of the on-ground facts. CPEC is the stepping stone for One Belt Road Project.
The route by land is the most economic, viable and void of interference by enemy and opposing states. Gwadar is fast pacing up to the requirements of both states. The concerns of the newly-elected government under PTI have also been highlighted and remedial measures were actively discussed and perused during meetings held between the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Mr. Wang Qishan.
It must be kept in perspective that the position of Vice President in China, is the one of the final authorities when it comes to foreign relations and geo-strategic ties. Unlike many countries, China enjoys absolute delegation of powers and authorities from top to bottom of the Central Political Party. The significance of this trip cannot be overemphasized at this point in time.
Among other MoUs, there were agreements signed by the two sides, according to the PM Office, included the framework agreement on agricultural cooperation, the memorandum on the requirements of foot and mouth disease-free zone; the letter of exchange of disaster relief goods, China-Pakistan economic agreement and the agreement between the China Machinery Engineering Corporation and the...