China has decided to extend further trade concessions, under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in order to help Pakistan solve its current economic woes. These concessions are to be announced when Prime Minister Imran Khan visits China and attends the International Import Expo in Shanghai early in November. In this regard, the Chinese officials are trying to tailor CPEC as a ‘demand-driven programme for Pakistan’.
While talking to CRSS, China’s Deputy Chief of Mission Lijian Zhao said that China wanted CPEC to be a win-win for both the countries and that project will become an exemplary model of bilateral cooperation. “We want to make it (CPEC) a win-win for both of us (China and Pakistan). Let the critics say what they want, we will press ahead to make it an exemplary collaboration”, says Zhao.
Zheng Wang, a Pakistan-based executive, expressed similar opinion. “Indicating sensitivity to global criticism and skepticism inside Pakistan, China is re-tweaking the CPEC cooperation framework. If this happens during Khan’s visit, this will underscore what all Chinese leaders have been reiterating; Pak-China friendship is beyond loans and profits. It is about a real brotherly partnership that transcends borders and economic considerations”, said Wang.
Moreover, another Chinese senior official, while talking to The News, said. “So far, the CPEC was supply-driven and, to this effect, the top Chinese authorities have decided to make it based on Islamabad’s priorities and demands, so as to make the CPEC project more favourable towards Pakistan,”
It is also reported that China is doing its best to ensure the success of the CPEC, which is an integral part of its flagship Belt and Road initiative. Hence, the Chinese government has decided that future CPEC investments would be made ‘keeping in view the priorities and demands of the Pakistan government, so as boost the industrial sector’.