Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng will travel in Pakistan today for a three-day visit to mark the tenth anniversary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to a FO statement, the Chinese vice premier will be in Pakistan from July 30 (today) to August 1 (Tuesday) at the invitation of the federal government to attend a ceremony commemorating a decade of CPEC as the chief guest.
According to the FO, the Chinese vice premier will also meet with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Arif Alvi during his visit.
According to the FO, Lifeng has played a significant role in China’s foreign economic relations and the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, of which CPEC is a flagship project.
According to the FO, as chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (2017-23), he was influential in the design and execution of numerous CPEC projects in Pakistan.
“The visit is part of Pakistan and China’s regular high-level exchanges and dialogue.” It reflects the importance Pakistan and China place on deepening their “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership”; reaffirming support on issues of mutual interest; enhancing economic and financial cooperation; advancing high-quality development of CPEC; and exploring new avenues for strengthening trade and investment ties between the two countries,” the spokesperson added.
What is CPEC
CPEC, which began in 2013, includes a wide range of infrastructure and development projects in Pakistan. The fundamental purpose of this ambitious effort is to swiftly modernise the country’s transport networks, build various energy projects, and establish special economic zones in order to strengthen the country’s economy. The fundamental agreement for these projects to be included in CPEC was signed in 2013, with term sheets finalized during President Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to Pakistan.
CPEC began partial operation in November 2016, with Chinese cargo being moved overland to Gwadar port for further distribution to Africa and West Asia via maritime routes.
Since then, Pakistan has received $25.4 billion in direct Chinese investment, which has been committed to different transport, energy, and infrastructure programmes as part of the flagship connectivity and investment corridor project, a key component of Beijing’s larger Belt and Road Initiative.