Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif, President Xi agree to upgrade CPEC

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their meeting have affirmed consensus on the upgradation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and advancing high-quality development of the multi-billion dollar project in the second phase.
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Islamabad | Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their meeting have affirmed consensus on the upgradation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and advancing high-quality development of the multi-billion dollar project in the second phase.

The two leaders held an in-depth discussion at the historic Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday during the five-day official visit of Sharif which began on June 4.

The two leaders were accompanied by the ministers and senior officials. This was the first meeting of Sharif with President Xi since assuming office in 2024.

According to the state media, the two leaders showed consensus on up-gradation of the CPEC and advancing the development of the mega project in the second phase.

The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI is seen as an attempt by China to further its influence abroad with infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments across the world.

China has also invested billions in various power projects and road networks in Pakistan under the USD 65 billion CPEC plan, but the implementation of various projects has slowed in recent months.

Associated Press of Pakistan reported that Prime Minister Sharif briefed President Xi on Pakistan's policies for economic reform and sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernisation and regional connectivity and the critical role played by the CPEC in Pakistan's development.

The prime minister recalled the historic visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in 2015 when the CPEC was formally operationalised, marking a new chapter in the bilateral relationship.

He asserted Pakistan's commitment to high-quality development of the CPEC and to foster synergy between the development strategies of the two countries through close coordination.

Commending President Xi's Belt and Road Initiative and Global Development Initiative (GDI), the prime minister underscored that as the flagship project of BRI, the CPEC had significantly contributed to Pakistan's socio-economic development.

He underlined that the government's agenda for people-centric, socio-economic development resonates with the concept of ‘shared prosperity' embraced by China.

The two leaders reaffirmed the time-honoured ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership' and expressed the resolve to further deepen cooperation across diverse domains ranging from political and security to economic, trade, and people-to-people exchanges.

They also exchanged views on regional and global developments including Afghanistan, Palestine and South Asia, including Kashmir.

President Xi Jinping also hosted a banquet in honour of the prime minister, where another round of discussion on different matters of mutual interests was held.

Radio Pakistan reported that Sharif in the meeting reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment for safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in Pakistan.

The two sides reiterated their longstanding support for each other's issues of core interest.

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