PM's visit to China of great significance
Editor's Note: The author is Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS), Islamabad, and Regional Expert on China, CPEC & BRI. This article only reflects the opinion of the author, not necessarily of Gwadar Pro.
Most recently, during a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Pakistan and China shares “special friendship and strategic mutual trust”, as demonstrated by the fact that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be among the first foreign leaders to visit China upon invitation after the successful conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s planned visit to China holds great significance for the strengthening of bilateral relations, China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan’s economic sustainability, infrastructural development, transition to green energy, and agriculture cooperation between two countries.
It is expected that maiden visit of PM Sharif to China will further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse sectors: industrialization, energy, investment, ICT, science & technology, social development, health and last but not least, artificial intelligence between the two iron clad friends.
A number of MoUs/Agreements in diverse areas are expected to be concluded, and the two sides will consolidate the momentum of CPEC cooperation in the wake of the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on 27th October 2022.
According to Wang Wenbin, Pak-China leaders will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, and jointly charter the course for and steer the growth of China-Pakistan relations.
China has been assisting Pakistan to overcome its chronic economic, political, and security problems since long. In this connection, time and again, the leadership of the two countries has often described their ties as “all-weather”.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China will last for two days from Nov. 1st to 2nd. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
I suggest that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif should take this visit as a golden opportunity for streamlining and systematizing delayed issues and pending CPEC projects and try to further promote the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era, and contribute more to safeguarding regional peace and stability and global fairness and justice.
Inclusion of new projects pertaining to connectivity, infrastructure development, mining, oil & gas exploration, production facility of solar panels, dry batteries, water conservation, green revolution, climate change, building of special economic zones, and formation of new corridors should be promoted under the flagship of CPEC.