China Watch

China Watch [March 11 – March 17] South Punjab to get major share of uplift schemes under CPEC

China has shown interest in financially supporting 16 projects related to the socio-economic development in Punjab as part of Beijing’s commitment. The Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Masood Khalid talked about the new visa policy currently implemented by the Pakistani government, and said that this will make Pakistan a more inclusive country and will promote tourism and economy. The Cabinet Committee on CPEC has decided to launch an important project of Western Route in Balochistan soon while ML-1 will be undertaken in different phases. CPEC has finally started to gain momentum under the current Pakistani government, as various projects planned under the mega project are being finalized. The Chief Minister of Balochistan inaugurated the Gwadar Water Treatment Plant and also ordered expansion of the district headquarters (DHQ) hospital with addition of 50 beds.

Please read below for additional details in this edition of China Watch [March 11 – March 17] by CRSS. 

South Punjab to get major share of uplift schemes under CPEC:
After Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China, socioeconomic development was added as another sub-portfolio of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 16 projects have been identified in Punjab, in various sectors such as education, vocational training, healthcare, poverty alleviation, agriculture and clean drinking water. The priority areas identified by the Chinese team are South Punjab, newly merged areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Sindh. The projects are being implemented on a grant basis, worth $1 billion.[i]

55,000 Chinese businessmen and tourists issued visas by Pakistan Embassy last year:
The Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Masood Khalid talked about the new visa policy currently implemented by the Pakistani government, and said that this will make Pakistan a more inclusive country and will promote tourism and economy. He further said that the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing and its four consulates issued 55,000 visas to Chinese businessmen and tourists, with the number growing tremendously every year. Chinese presence in Pakistan has increased manifold, especially after the launch of CPEC.[ii] 

Project of Western Route to be launched in Balochistan soon:
The Western Route of CPEC, which has been under debate in the recent past, has been finalized and the government plans to launch the project soon. This was revealed by the Minister of Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar. He also said that the financing mode of the ML-1 railway project has also been discussed, and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode of financing will be established for the smooth progress of the project.[iii]

Momentum building behind CPEC again:
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has finally started to gain momentum under the current Pakistani government, as various projects planned under the mega project are being finalized. This includes reverting to the EPC mode for ML-1 railway project, Balochistan Road, projects in socioeconomic development including agriculture, health and education, the final agreement of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the groundbreaking of the new Gwadar International Airport as revealed by the Minister of Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar.[iv]

CM Balochistan inaugurates Gwadar Water Treatment Plant:
The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan was invited to inaugurate the Gwadar Water Treatment Plant, which would provide clean and accessible water to the residents of Gwadar, for both drinking and agricultural purposes. The water treatment plant was completed at a cost of PKR 300 million. The CM also directed concerned authorities to expand the DHQ hospital to a capacity of 50 beds. Massive progress is being seen in the development of Gwadar ever since the launch of CPEC.[v]

This report is compiled and written by Syeda Uruba Nisar, Social Media Associate at the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad.

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[i] Jamal, N. (2019, March 14). S Punjab to get major share of uplift schemes under CPEC. DAWN. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1469439/s-punjab-to-get-major-share-of-uplift-schemes-under-cpec

[ii] 55,000 Chinese businessmen, workers issued visas by Pakistan Embassy last year: Envoy. (2019, March 14). The News. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/443967-55000-chinese-businessmen-workers-issued-visas-by-pakistan-embassy-last-year-envoy

[iii] Project of Western Route to be launched in Balochistan soon. (2019, March 14). The News. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/443909-project-of-western-route-to-be-launched-in-balochistan-soon

[iv] Kiani, K. (2019, March 14). Momentum building behind CPEC again. DAWN. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1469548

[v] Zafar, M. (2019, March 12). Kamal inaugurates water plant in Gwadar. The Express Tribune. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://tribune.com.pk/story/1927633/1-kamal-inaugurates-water-plant-gwadar/

 

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