PM Imran Khan's visit to China yielding fruitful results
Editor's note: Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law，Special Commentator of China Economic Net, former Defense Attache in South Asian countries. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
February 4 was a busy day for Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his high-level delegation in Beijing. PM Imran Khan held a series of important meetings with the Chinese authorities, business circles, academia and media, which were very sincere, friendly and pragmatic, and achieved fruitful results, leaving a deep impression on the Chinese people that Pakistan is indeed a good friend.
I believe that the fruitful results are mainly reflected in the following three aspects:
First, China and Pakistan signed a series of important cooperation documents, especially the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation between the Board of Investment (BOI) of Pakistan and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China will facilitate the relocation of China's industrial units to CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and accelerate China's investment and industrial and technological scale transfer to Pakistan so that large-scale production and export of modern industrial products can be quickly formed in Pakistan.
Second, PM Imran Khan and his delegation had extensive interactions with the executives of Chinese state-owned and private corporate sectors, offering a conducive environment for investment in SEZs, having greatly stimulated the enthusiasm of Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan. Many Chinese companies immediately expressed that they were keen to expand investment in Pakistan in projects related to energy, textile, fiber-optics networks, housing, dairy, water management and recycling of metals and paper, etc. while some other enterprises expressed their desire to establish a $3.5 billion reprocessing park in Gwadar and a $350 million textile cluster near Lahore. The Chinese textile firm, reputed for high export-quality apparel, planned to build a textile cluster on over 100 acres of land near Lahore, which would create around 20,000 jobs. The representatives of three major agricultural firms wanted to jointly establish a modernization research lab and a demonstration plot to improve yield and seed quality in Pakistan. The Chinese fertilizer companies desired to invest in the export-oriented growth of corn and soybeans.
Third, PM Imran Khan has visited China many times and is an old friend very familiar to the Chinese people, which is closely related to his emphasis on interaction with academia and the media. The academic and media circles of both countries play a crucial role in promoting the development of friendly relations between the two countries, enhancing people-to-people understanding and perception, and consolidating the people-to-people foundation of bilateral relations. This time, PM Imran Khan was interviewed by China Global Television Network(CGTN)and interacted with the media, leaving a deep impression on the Chinese people that he is a firm, resolute, friendly, and people-oriented leader.
After attending the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the leaders of China and Pakistan will hold talks on the further development of bilateral relations and important international and regional issues. I firmly believe that broad consensus will be reached, to point out the direction for the further development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.