Free Press Journal

China, Pakistan sign major agreements ahead of OBOR


India likely to skip two-day summit beginning in Beijing today

Beijing/Islamabad : China and Pakistan on Saturday inked various infrastructure agreements, including on setting up ports and for further developing Gwadar port, ahead of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) forum that begins on Sunday, media reported.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The first MoU is related to cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road initiative, Radio Pakistan reported. An MoU was also signed on upgradation of the main railway line track ML-I and establishment of Havaelian Dry Port.

Three agreements related to economic and technical cooperation worth 3.4 billion Yuan for Gwadar port and East Bay expressway.

Federal Ministers, Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Chief Ministers of all four provinces were also present on the occasion.

Sharif also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment for completion of early harvest projects under CPEC.

Sharif on Saturday also held meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and assured that Islamabad will fully support Beijing’s OBOR initiative, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported.

The meeting focused on intra-regional trade and connectivity as a crucial factor for sustainable development of Asia and beyond, it added.

India on the other side appears likely to skip China’s mega Belt and Road forum beginning here on Sunday as New Delhi is yet to confirm its participation in the two-day event. India’s likely absence comes even as its neighbours are attending. The top leadership of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar are attending, while Bangladesh and Nepal are sending high-level delegations.

On Friday, Nepal officially inked a deal with China on OBOR for development of cross-border connectivity.

India has been unwilling to join the OBOR conference over its objections to the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key artery of China’s Belt and Road project, which cuts through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which is claimed by New Delhi.

The Pakistan side conveyed that China’s strategic policies in the region were for peace and prosperity.–IANS

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