Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has boosted relations between the regional countries.
“Thanks to the CPEC, infrastructure has improved and regional connectivity increased,” Xi said during his address at the inauguration ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum being attended by international delegates in Beijing.
This week, Beijing is hosting representatives of 130 countries for the forum on the country’s trade and infrastructure Belt and Road Initiative.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar is also attending the inaugural meeting of the forum, as is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Addressing the meeting, Xi Jinping said this year marked the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. The forum focused on trade and communication, he added.
There have been two previous meetings of the Belt and Road forum, the Chinese president told the audience, adding that under the forum, special attention has been given to the acquisition of environment-friendly energy.
“Under the forum, the establishment of new economic corridors for developing countries has been given a priority,” he commented.
The Belt and Road forum is playing an important role in the fight against Covid-19, Xi Jinping said, adding the country helped more than 70 countries during the pandemic.
The past achievements of the forum are commendable, he went on to say, adding that the initiative has become a source of institutional communication.
Xi Jinping said China has trade relations with 140 countries of the world, adding the main purpose of the Silk Road is to promote peace and cooperation. He also said that the Belt and Road forum is meant for promoting mutual interests.
“For a bright future, we must face common challenges together,” the Chinese president stressed.
Addressing the gathering, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the meeting was celebrating the 10th anniversary of Chinese President Xi Jinping's milestones.
“Russia and China are working to achieve sustainable development,” he told the meeting, adding that steps have been taken to connect countries with the forum.
“The basic infrastructure is being expanded and modernized,” the Russian president said, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative ensures safe and speedy transfer of commercial goods.
“Russia is working on roads as well as railway tracks to promote connectivity,” Putin said.
PM Kakar said in a post on his X account that he was honoured to represent Pakistan at the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.
"Strengthening our bonds, fostering cooperation, and working towards a brighter future together. Pakistan takes pride in successful implementation of various infrastructure development projects under #CPEC, a key initiative under #BRI," he posted.
Honored to represent Pakistan at the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, upon the gracious invitation of President Xi Jinping. Strengthening our bonds, fostering cooperation, and working towards a brighter future together. Pakistan takes takes pride in successful implementation… pic.twitter.com/1oLgF21yiS— Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (@anwaar_kakar) October 18, 2023
In his address, the PM is expected to dilate upon the successes achieved under CPEC over the last 10 years, as well as highlight future goals and reaffirm Pakistan's cooperation on this key project.
During his ongoing visit to China, Kakar is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the Chinese leadership, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang. A number of agreements and memorandums of understanding are expected to be signed in the areas of agriculture, health, industry, green energy, and space technology.
The caretaker premier is also expected to visit Urumqi to meet with local leaders and businessmen to enhance trade, investment and people-to people contacts.