Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was here in Pakistan to make sure if the PTI government would carry on the policies regarding China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Beijing has been quite bitter about the drive against the BRI led by the US government and wanted to know how the new government in Pakistan looked at the CPEC, said to be a model project by China where it has by now pledged $62billion. The main source of worry for Beijing has been the complaints about the absence of transparency in CPEC and assertions by the PTI that the preceding government has been involved in corruption in every development project. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was quick to respond to China’s concerns and assured his counterpart at the joint press conference that CPEC would remain PTI government’s priority. In response, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave surety that Pakistan will for all time be a priority for China in its foreign policy. He also addressed some of Pakistan’s apprehensions and assured that China will build up Pakistan’s industrial sector and also will help increase exports to China. He also pledged to expand market access for Pakistan’s competitive agricultural products. He said we will work as well to complete negotiations to improve the Free Trade Agreement by the end of the current year to boost the level of trade. Lauding Pakistan’s positive role in regional cooperation, he also encouraged Pakistan to make stronger its relations with neighboring countries. Pakistan and China have already shown their keenness to make social economic development between the two countries an important goal under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Both countries have supported each other on various international platforms and shared the common principles on different international and regional issues. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed that enhancing all weather strategic partnership with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. According to reports both the countries have identified ten areas of cooperation to advance the purpose of close relationship and expressed willingness to give impetus to about 20 ongoing projects under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor which was expected to create 70,000 jobs. They also vowed to continue collaborating on CPEC, which was the fast moving flagship project of One Belt, One Road initiative. Wang Yi’s tour of Pakistan proves the seriousness and active engagement of all the stakeholders in private and public sectors in both counties.
Enhancing all weather strategic partnership with China is cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy