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CPEC forges ahead in 2020

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online)    17:14, December 31, 2020

While Western media is disseminating negative propaganda against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both countries are satisfied with the progress and committed to turn this mega project into a role model for the rest of the world to follow.

The Second Meeting of the Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC), under the CPEC, was held on December 25, 2020 in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Photo taken on Jan. 29, 2018 shows a view of Gwadar Port in southwest Pakistan's Gwadar. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

The meeting was co-chaired by Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui and Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Sohail Mahmood, in a very cordial atmosphere. It is worth mentioning that Minister Luo Zhaohui, who previously served as the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, understands Pakistan's issues and is willing to support Pakistan in its struggle for economic development.

During his tenure in Pakistan, he took on many initiatives and projects, which termed the new heights of China-Pakistan traditional friendship. Since he was promoted as Vice Foreign Minister, he has been instrumental in promoting China and Pakistan's friendship, significantly boosting cooperation under CPEC.

After looking back at the work progress achieved since the inaugural meeting of JWG-ICC on April 9, 2019, the two sides agreed that the two countries' close cooperation and mutual support amid the COVID-19 outbreak has laid the foundation for economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and injected new momentum into the construction of the CPEC.

The two sides reiterated that they would implement the consensus of the two leaders and promote the CPEC to focus on industry, agriculture, science and technology, and people's livelihood fields to reach into less developed areas, to make the CPEC a model project for the high-quality development of the Belt and Road cooperation.

Achieving positive results, China has a success story in industry, agriculture, science, and technology. China has attained miraculous results in eliminating poverty and is reaching the goal to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects on schedule . Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan mentioned many times that he is impressed with Chinese achievements and wants to learn from China’s experience in developing the economy and eradicating poverty in Pakistan.

The two sides reaffirmed that the CPEC is an open and inclusive initiative. Its construction will be launched with third parties following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits on the basis of consensus between China and Pakistan through negotiations and full demonstration.

There is complete harmony between the two countries' leadership, and the public extends full support to the CPEC. The key to the success of the CPEC is the determination of two nations and dedication by the general public.

The two sides agreed to continue to publicize the positive role of the CPEC in improving the livelihoods of locals, and to clarify inaccurate reports about the CPEC promptly and counter disinformation spread by the adversaries. They encourage the media, film, television, and publishing sectors of the two countries to strengthen cooperation on the CPEC-related topics, and welcome think tanks, experts and scholars of the two countries to conduct bilateral and multilateral exchanges on the CPEC construction, in a bid to jointly expand the CPEC's influence and spur the high-quality development of the Belt and Road cooperation.

We firmly oppose all fake news and negative propaganda against the CPEC. We will not let our adversaries succeed in harming the CPEC. It is a strategic decision of the two nations. China-Pakistan are time-tested, all-weather, all-dimension, strategic partners with a shared destiny. The CPEC will cements ties of the two countries. 

The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to People's Daily Online.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

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