Pakistan Assures China of ‘Smooth Progress’ of Economic Corridor

Amid security concerns over the construction of the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan vowed to take steps to facilitate its “smooth progress”.

“As this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties, China is willing to work with Pakistan to develop the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to achieve mutual development,” Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told a Pakistan ruling party PML-N delegation led by Punjab Province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

“With already friendly relations with the Pakistan Muslim League, the Communist Party of China looks forward to enhancing high-level exchanges and sharing experiences in state governance with the party,” he said.

Shahbaz, who is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother, expressed sympathy for the residents of flood-hit areas in China and said 10,000 tonnes of rice would be donated by Pakistan, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“Pakistan will take measures to cooperate with China to facilitate the smooth progress of the economic corridor programme,” Sharif said.

Sharif’s remarks come amid security concerns over the construction of the corridor that will pass through PoK.

In May, a Chinese engineer and his Pakistani driver were injured in a roadside blast in Karachi, claimed by a little-known separatist group that vowed to derail the ambitious project.

India has already protested to China over the project as it passes through PoK.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a pilot project under the Belt and Road initiative.

China and Pakistan recently launched a host of projects focusing on energy and transport infrastructure, it said.

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