China commended Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s remarks on the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying on Wednesday that Beijing was ready to work with Islamabad to continue pursuing high-quality development of the corridor.
Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told his regular briefing that China wanted to build CPEC into a model and a demonstration project of Belt and Road (BRI) cooperation – the flagship initiative of President Xi Jinping.
“We noted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s remarks on the CPEC and we highly commend that,” Zhao said. “China stands ready … to continue to pursue the high quality development of the economic corridor and build it into a model and demonstration project for high quality BRI cooperation,” he said.
In his maiden speech in the National Assembly after winning election on Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had said that his government would speed up the construction of CPEC, the major project of the BRI.
Zhao said that since its launching, CPEC had made important contributions to Pakistan’s economic development and improvement of Pakistani people’s livelihood. “It has won widespread acclaim and recognition,” the spokesperson said.
Shehbaz had previously spoken highly of the CPEC several times, calling it an ambitious blueprint to transform Pakistan into a major emerging economy so that the less-developed parts of the country could enjoy the dividends of development.
According to Chinese experts, since 2015, the CPEC has directly created more than 75,000 jobs in Pakistan. It is believed that once the CPEC construction was complete, more investment would be drawn to the country, which would improve Pakistan’s manufacturing base.