China, Pakistan vow to safeguard economic corridor plan

Both countries dismiss propaganda against multi-billion-dollar project, joint statement says

China, Pakistan vow to safeguard economic corridor plan

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

China and Pakistan on Sunday dismissed the growing propaganda against the multi-billion-dollar economic corridor project and vowed to safeguard it from all threats.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement following meetings of the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the $64 billion project, which is the part of Beijing’s most ambitious foreign economic initiative — One Belt One Road — aims to connect northwest China to Pakistan’s southwestern Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

Chinese reiterated its full support to Pakistan’s commitments and counter-terrorism efforts and commended the sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation in fight against terrorism, the statement said.

“The Chinese side recognized Pakistan’s efforts in actively strengthening financial regulations to combat terrorism financing and called on all relevant parties to view Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts in an objective and fair manner,” it added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan also reaffirmed its “unwavering support” for one-China policy and reiterated its opposition to any attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty.

Chinese leadership noted the growing volume of bilateral trade and agreed to take concrete measure to address trade imbalance with Pakistan.

To resolve the imbalance and trade deficit issue, the two sides agreed to conclude the second phase of the China-Pakistan free trade agreement “as early as possible” and continue discussion on the Pakistan-China agreement on trade in Service.

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