BEIJING: The multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor being built through the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is poised for implementation, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
The building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is making smooth progress and entering into the phase of implementation, Wang told Sartaj Aziz, top security and foreign affairs advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister on the sidelines of East Asia Summit in Myanmar.
The corridor connecting China’s Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port is to be laid out through the POK over which India expressed concerns as it runs through the disputed territory.
The two sides should keep high-level exchanges as the strategic guidance to bilateral relations, deepen practical cooperation in infrastructure, energy, transportation and other areas, make “down-to-earth progress” in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, increase counter-terrorism cooperation and uphold common security.
In his meeting with Bangladeshi counterpart Mahmood Ali, Wang said the two countries should press ahead with the building of the Bangladesh, China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) enhance people-to-people exchanges. Wang also met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris told him the two countries should jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road being conceived by Beijing to improve trade connectivity in Asia.
He said major progress has been achieved in the Joint Feasibility Study on China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Area and infrastructure construction cooperation.
Peiris said Sri Lanka supports the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and will make positive efforts in this regard.
Sri Lanka is ready to work with China to expand bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, national defense and security, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and push for new progress in the Sri Lanka-China strategic partnership of cooperation, he said.
China says the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, BCIM and Maritime Silk Road formed part of its wider plans to build ancient Silk Roads to improve trade and economic connectivity.