On 4 February 2022, China and Pakistan has signed a new agreement on industrial cooperation as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ongoing visit to Beijing. Signing of the agreement was followed Mr. Khan’s meeting with He Lifeng, Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The framework seeks to “promote industrialisation and development of economic zones, and initiate, plan, execute, and monitor projects, both in public as well as private sector”, the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted the agreement as saying. Mr. Khan told Mr. He that CPEC was a project of “strategic significance for both countries” and called for both sides to “expedite” measures to develop the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.
China has described CPEC as a “flagship project” of the Belt and Road Initiative. The CPEC corridor links Xinjiang with Gwadar, and passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where China is investing in a number of projects.
The Pakistan Prime Minister, who attended the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, will also hold talks with both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Besides seeking investment, Mr. Khan will also look to reassure Beijing about safety concerns which have slowed several CPEC projects.