Islamabad (Agencies): A momentous occasion was marked in Islamabad as Pakistan and China came together to celebrate the completion of the first decade of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The event witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries from both countries, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, Mr. He Lifeng, who is also the Vice Premier of the State Council of China.

Senior Ministers from China and Pakistan, along with high-ranking officials and corporate executives of leading Chinese companies operating in Pakistan, graced the special ceremony with their presence.

During the event, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Vice Premier He Lifeng lauded the remarkable contributions of CPEC to Pakistan’s socio-economic development and the mutual progress and prosperity of both nations. They acknowledged CPEC as the flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has played a transformative role in Pakistan’s economic landscape, eliminating infrastructure bottlenecks and power shortages.

Both leaders expressed their satisfaction with the notable achievements of CPEC in the past decade and vowed to build upon this success, further strengthening their cooperation to develop CPEC as a high-quality, demonstrable project of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The dedication and hard work of Pakistani and Chinese experts, engineers, and workers were also acknowledged for their meritorious contributions to the timely completion of all CPEC projects in Pakistan.

Vice Premier He Lifeng conveyed a special message from President Xi Jinping, congratulating the government and people of Pakistan on the completion of the first decade of CPEC.

To mark the significance of this milestone, a special Postal Stamp, Commemorative Coin, and First Day Cover were issued. In addition, both sides unveiled a memento capturing the achievements made during the first decade of CPEC and presenting a futuristic vision for its continued success.

Throughout the event, captivating performances showcased various aspects of Pakistan’s pluralistic and progressive culture, emphasizing the strong civilizational affinity and fraternal ties between Pakistan and China.

Looking back, it was in 2013 that Pakistan and China launched CPEC projects following the visit of the Chinese Premier to Pakistan. Over the past ten years, under the framework of CPEC, the two countries have jointly initiated and completed multiple projects in energy, transport infrastructure, port/airport development, and digital connectivity.

The dividends of CPEC were evident, with over 200,000 jobs created, 8,000 MW of power added to the national grid, and the construction of 510 kilometers of highways and 932 kilometers of road networks. Additionally, an 820-kilometer long optical fiber line was laid, further boosting connectivity.

As CPEC enters Phase-II, both Pakistan and China have expanded their cooperation into new areas, including rural revitalization, agricultural development, industrialization, green development, and science and technology, signifying a promising future for the bilateral partnership.

The celebration of CPEC’s 10th anniversary reinforced the deep-rooted friendship and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China, setting a positive trajectory for continued collaboration and mutual growth.

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