BEIJING (Agencies): China on Tuesday commended Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s positive remarks on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that it was ready to work with Pakistan to building a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor to create an upgraded version of the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to deliver greater benefits to the two people.

China commends Prime Minister, Shahbaz Sharif’s positive remarks and stands ready to work with Pakistan to build an upgraded version of CPEC, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian said during his regular briefing in response to a question asked by APP.

The prime minister, talking to Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidon in Islamabad last week, stressed that Pakistan was keen to move to the next phase of CPEC, including operationalization of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to facilitate Chinese investment in Pakistan.

In an interview with Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, the prime minister said, Pakistan was now ready to move toward the second phase of CPEC to promote technological development and agriculture through the corridor.

While commending PM Shehbaz Sharif’s positive remarks, the spokesperson said that the CPEC is an important flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative.

“A batch of early harvests of cooperation have been achieved in areas of transportation, infrastructure, energy and industry,” he added.

Lin Jian pointed out that last year, the two sides held a grand celebration event to mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of CPEC and added, Leaders of the two countries reached a new important common understanding on high quality developments of CPEC.

He said that China stands ready to work with Pakistan to follow the guidance of important common understandings reached by the leaders of two countries, build a growth corridor, a livelihood enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor continue to deepen cooperation in various areas, foster new growth and build an upgraded version of CPEC to deliver greater benefits to the two peoples.

Launched in 2013, the CPEC, a flagship project of the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative, is a corridor linking the Gwadar Port in southwestern Pakistan with Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.

The CPEC has brought Pakistan direct investment totaling over 25 billion US dollars over the past decade. The corridor also created many jobs opportunities in Pakistan.

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