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Chinese Vice Premier to Visit Pakistan to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of CPEC

In a significant diplomatic event, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng is scheduled to visit Pakistan from July 30 to August 1 to participate in the 10th anniversary of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). The announcement was made by the spokesperson of the Pakistan foreign ministry on a Saturday briefing.

A Celebration of a Decade of Collaboration

During his visit, Vice Premier He Lifeng, who is also a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, will hold meetings with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, adding further significance to the commemorative event.

He Lifeng is expected to be the chief guest at the grand ceremony commemorating the ten years of CPEC, which has emerged as a flagship project under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Chinese Vice Premier has played a prominent role in fostering China’s international economic relations and has been instrumental in the planning and successful execution of several CPEC projects in Pakistan during his tenure as Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission from 2017 to 2023.

Strengthening Strategic Partnership

The visit of Vice Premier He Lifeng underscores the mutual commitment of Pakistan and China to enhancing their “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.” Both countries view this milestone event as an opportunity to deepen economic and financial cooperation, promote high-quality development of CPEC, and explore new avenues to strengthen trade and investment ties.

Over the past decade, China has made substantial investments of nearly $30 billion in Pakistan, primarily focusing on energy and infrastructure projects. However, the progress of the second phase of CPEC, which envisions the establishment of special economic zones, faced slowdowns during the governance transition.

Revival of CPEC

The situation changed when Pakistan witnessed a change of government in April of the preceding year. Since then, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has regained momentum and garnered renewed attention.

Amidst Pakistan’s impending risk of a sovereign default, China proved to be a valuable ally by extending vital financial assistance. Beijing helped Islamabad by refinancing and rolling over loans, thereby ensuring that Pakistan’s foreign reserves remained at a level that averted the risk of default.

Prospects of the Visit

Vice Premier He Lifeng’s visit is anticipated to foster closer collaboration between China and Pakistan, reaffirm their commitment to shared economic goals, and pave the way for prosperous joint ventures. As the two nations mark a decade of successful partnership, the celebration of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor holds the promise of even greater future achievements and mutual prosperity.

The 10th anniversary of CPEC also serves as a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan, solidifying their status as steadfast allies on the international stage.

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