Enhanced cooperation between Pakistan and China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is crucial for regional peace, development and prosperity, Pakistani President Arif Alvi has said.
The bilateral relationship is “a very different kind of relationship based on mutual trust and win-win cooperation rather than vested interest,” he said here during a recent interview with Chinese media.
Pakistan and China enjoy a unique, close and mutually beneficial relationship, which is built on the strength of economic achievements and has been thriving with each passing day and year, said the president.
As the year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI, as well as the 10th year of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the BRI launched in 2013, Alvi said the initiative has been promoting socio-economic development in Pakistan and improving people’s livelihood.
Highlighting the major achievements under CPEC over the past 10 years, the president noted that the construction of the economic corridor has promoted energy and transportation infrastructure critical for Pakistan’s economic development, and helped develop Pakistan’s Gwadar Port to boost trade and regional connectivity.
Noting that thousands of megawatts of electricity has been added to the national grid through various power projects including water, solar and coal, he said that as CPEC moved to the second phase of high-quality development, the Pakistani government is looking forward to further enhancing cooperation with China in the fields of agriculture, science and technology, and poverty alleviation.
“Pakistan has a lot to learn from China’s experience in development fields, and the second phase of CPEC is geared towards improving Pakistan’s health and education sector, reducing poverty, and social development to make the country prosperous and flourishing,” Alvi said.
Regarding China’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, “China has played a vital role in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic at home and abroad by sharing timely information, knowledge and data with the world besides cooperating with countries around the globe including Pakistan.”
Being an iron-clad friend of Pakistan, China has assisted Pakistan and enhanced its COVID-19 response by supporting with vaccines and medical supplies, and sending teams of medical experts, he added.
Thanking China for its substantial assistance to Pakistan during the recent climate-induced catastrophic floods, the president said that among all aids the international community has offered to help handle the crisis, China’s assistance has been the biggest.
On the challenging issue of climate change, Alvi said, “China has especially helped Pakistan and cooperated in the provision of solar energy to the country.”
“Pakistan and China have long-lasting cooperation in this area,” the president said, adding that a number of important initiatives proposed by China including the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative have a global perspective and are of great significance to the international community in addressing climate change, pandemic prevention and control, and peaceful development.
As the Lunar Year of the Rabbit is approaching, Alvi, on behalf of the Pakistani people, extended his greetings and best wishes to the Chinese people. “Happy Chinese New Year, and a happy Year of the Rabbit!”