China to help Pakistan achieve sustainable growth, eradicate poverty

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President Xi’s historic re-election ushers in new era of quality growth, modernization

Zubair Qureshi

China and Pakistan share a common vision of regional and global peace, progress and prosperity and the two countries have a history of cordial relations based on the people-to-people and the government-to-government friendship.

These views were expressed by President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), Mr Lin Songtian who is currently visiting Pakistan as part of promoting friendship among the cities (municipal governments) of the two countries and to explore new avenues of friendship at people-to-people level.

While addressing the news conference at the Embassy of China, Mr Lin Songtian spoke at length on a number of issues concerning the two nations from trade and energy cooperation and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to re-election of President Xi for a historic third-term as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), poverty eradication and advancement in science & technology.

He assured China would help Pakistan achieve goals of urbanization and modernization through infrastructure development, industrialization, and capacity building of youth.

Accompanied by Mr Ji Yongjun and Ms Bao Zhong, President of CPAFFC said he chose Pakistan as the first country to visit after assuming the charge of the association and wherever he went, he was met by people who called him their brother. Pakistanis are such loving and warm-hearted people and have always stood by China in the time of need. “As we say a friend in need is a friend indeed, Pakistan is China’s true friend and has always supported China,” he said.

President of CPAFFC Lin Songtian, said it was the responsibility of China to pull Pakistan out of poverty by enhancing trade and modernizing its infrastructure and technological development.

He added that technical skills were fundamental to achieving these goals besides education. In this regard, China is working with Pakistan to improve youth’s skills through vocational training institutes and the collaboration of both countries.

I am in Pakistan for ‘win-win’ cooperation, he said , adding that huge potential existed between the two countries to explore the informal avenues (people-to-people) besides touching on the formal sides.

Mr Songtian also spoke on the flagship project of One Belt One Road initiative of President Xi and said the first phase of the project was completed and the work on the second phase (development of Gwadar port and special economic zones) was progressing on top gear. Imagine the dividends of progress and development once the second phase is completed, he said. CPEC is a unique project in the sense it not only brings in huge investment and trade opportunities it also provides China and Pakistani connectivity with Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa. “We are in a way investing in the future of Pakistan,” he said.

About his meetings in Pakistan, Mr Songtian said he held very intensive and productive sessions with the Pakistani authorities and discussed future courses of action and cooperation.

Terming Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to China highly significant, Mr Songtian said the visit took place at an historic juncture and PM Shehbaz is the first head of the government to visit China after the national congress of the CPC and re-election of President Xi for the third term. It was decided during the meeting that China would help Pakistan in solar energy, rail connectivity (ML-I) and industrialization. He also highlighted the media’s role and termed it vital to create awareness and urged the media to play its role and present a true picture of China.

About China’s support to Pakistan in recent floods, he assured China would not leave its all-weather friend in testing times, be it Covid-19 or the recent floods. More than 80 organizations gave a generous donation of 126 million Yuans for the flood-affected people, he said.

 

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