Deccan Chronicle

Xi: Will always stand by ironclad friend Pak

Beijing, Islamabad celebrate 10th anniv. of CPEC projects

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Beijing, Aug. 1: President Xi Jinping has sought to project an upbeat picture of the impact of the CPEC projects in Pakistan, saying the China-funded venture is a vivid testament to their “ironclad friendship” and vowed to stand firmly by its ally.

China will continue to work with Pakistan to take their strategic ties to new heights, Xi said as the two countries celebrated the 10th anniversar­y of the launch of the ambitious CPEC infrastruc­ture projects in Islamabad, a day after a major suicide bombing took place in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhw­a province.

In his congratula­tory message to the ‘Decade of China-pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) celebratio­ns event held in Islamabad on Monday, Xi said the $60 billion CPEC infrastruc­ture programme is an “important pioneering project” of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochista­n with China’s Xinjiang province, is opposed by India as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The event was attended by Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan.

“China will work with Pakistan to aim for highstanda­rd, sustainabl­e and livelihood-enhancing outcomes and further build the CPEC into an exemplary project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperatio­n,” Xi said.

“Since its launch in 2013, China and Pakistan have been advancing CPEC under the principle of extensive consultati­on, joint contributi­on and shared benefits, and have achieved a number of early harvests,” he said.

Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said CPEC added new impetus to the developmen­t of Pakistan and laid foundation for connectivi­ty. —

 ?? — AFP ?? Chinese President Xi Jinping poses with senior military officials in Beijing.
— AFP Chinese President Xi Jinping poses with senior military officials in Beijing.

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