Prior to President Xi Jinping visit: New Joint Pakistan-China Think Tank on Economic Corridor launched in China; Mushahid Hussain elected Co-Chairman

ISLAMABAD / HAIKOU, Hainan Island, China , Apr 18 (INP) On the eve of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, a 3-day conference in the picturesque Chinese island of Hainan decided to launch a new Joint Pakistan-China Think Tank dedicated solely to research and development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

According to a press statement issued by the Islamabad office of Pakistan – China Institute, the newly-formed think tank “Research and Development International (RANDI)”, will have two Co-Chairpersons: Madame Zhao Baige, former Minister and presently Member of Parliament & Vice-Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress will be Co-Chair from the Chinese side, while Senator Mushahid Hussain will be Co-Chair from the Pakistani side.

“The new think tank is the first joint initiative of China and Pakistan which will be dedicated to research on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” said Senator Mushahid, emphasizing that it will also provide an ‘Information Corridor’ to promote perspectives, data and information for policy-makers, students, specialists, scholars and companies of both countries. The ‘Information Corridor’ will be organised by China’s most prestigious university, Tsinghua University, under the supervision of Professor Li Xiguang, who is also Director of the Center of Pakistan Studies there, who also addressed the conference.

The Pakistan secretariat of the new Joint Think Tank, RANDI, will be located at the Pakistan-China Institute in Islamabad, while its China secretariat will be co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the China Institute of Reform & Development (CIRD), two top Chinese think tanks.

A work plan for 2015 was also approved at the conference, which was attended, among others, by former Finance Minister, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Dr Saeed Ellahi, energy and economic experts including representatives of the Board of Investment, and Gwadar Development Authority.

The think tank will provide the institutional and intellectual foundation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has now become the flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s vision of the Central Asian Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road.