- Pakistan, China sign 19 agreements, MoUs relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation
- New pacts pave way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan
- Chinese president, PM Sharif say Pakistan-China are ‘iron friends’, aim to create green channel for release of funds for development projects in Pakistan
- PM assures crackdown on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and maintaining regional stability
China on Saturday promised Pakistan investments worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People during his three-day visit to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations and the regional situation in Beijing.
Pakistan, a close ally of China, suffers from chronic electricity shortages and Islamabad has long sought investment in coal-fired power stations which it sees as a solution to the problem.
The new agreements pave the way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan, while the deals also cover the supply and mining of coal, the prime minister’s press office said.
“The deals being signed between China and Pakistan are worth $42 billion. The whole investment is being made by China,” said Amir Zamir, spokesman for Ministry of Planning and Development. “There is no loan or aid for the energy projects, but pure investment by the Chinese,” he said.
MORE POWER PLANTS COMING PAK’S WAY:
With China’s help, over 21 projects are to be completed. The estimated cost of 16,520MW power generation is around $33 billion and would bring substantial improvement in all sectors of economy after completion.
Addressing the media following the meeting, Sharif said his government had made up for losses despite the damage caused due to the recent political turmoil in the country.
“Despite the damage done in the past two months due to political turmoil, we will make up for the loss come what may,” he was quoted as saying.
The agreements were signed to help promote cooperation between the two countries in fields of energy, infrastructure under the Economic Corridor Project and other sectors.
These include agreements on solar power production at Quaid-e Azam Solar Park, easy loan for laying optic fibre between the two countries, mining of 65,00,000 metric tons of coal in Block-2 of Thar, 870 MW Suki Kinari Hydropower project, 1320 MW coal power project in Sahiwal, and an MoU for 100 MW Jhimpir wind power project.
“These projects will be a source of employment for over a million youth of Pakistan. Pak-China cooperation will also create business opportunities for local and international investors,” the premier said.
An agreement was also signed to establish an Industrial Park in Faisalabad, and promote economic and technical cooperation.
THE FRIENDSHIP STRENGTHENED:
Moreover, Sharif conveyed to the Chinese chief executive that Pakistan-China friendship enjoys across-the-board political, institutional and popular support in Pakistan. He stressed that his visit will further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Chinese side reiterated to continue to support Pakistan in developing economy and maintaining stability, since China and Pakistan are “iron friends” and all-weather partners of strategic cooperation.
The Chinese side stated that they would create a green channel for timely release of funds for development projects initiated by China in Pakistan.
The prime minister was pleased that over the last year both sides have achieved better understanding on various projects related to energy, road and infrastructure. He pledged that Pakistan supports China’s stance on all major issues, especially on those involving China’s core interests.
HELPING CHINA WHERE IT NEEDS MOST:
The prime minister agreed that Pakistan will strengthen cooperation with China in building infrastructure, cracking down on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, and maintaining regional stability.
Pakistan will help China with its fight against extremists which Beijing says are active in its unruly far western region of Xinjiang, Sharif said.
Sharif told Xi that his country would “continue to resolutely fight the East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorist forces”, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement following the meeting in Beijing.
Pakistan will increase its coordination with China on Afghanistan too, so as to “jointly maintain regional peace and stability”, Sharif said.
Pakistan will also do all it can to guarantee the safety of Chinese companies and workers in the country, he added, who have in the past been attacked by militants.