Pakistan Signs Nearly $500 Million In China Deals At Silk Road Summit

The first MoU was related to cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road initiative.

The benefits of the Chinese investment of $56 billion with regards to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will soon reach the common man in Pakistan, he added.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was committed to support Chinese initiative of One Belt and One Road.

Speaking at the Second Raisina Dialogue earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in reference to OBOR (without naming it) had said: "However, equally, connectivity in itself can not override or undermine the sovereignty of other nations".

Ecoing his government's stand on the issue, Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui had recently said "China has taken care to India's stand" that it should be resolved bilaterally in line with the Shimla Agreement.

When President Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in January, critics said he was leaving a vacuum at the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, ceding the United States' role as regional economic leader.

"I think that is fact China is more eager to build a better relationship with Malaysia", Chin Yew Sin, the deputy secretary general of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia, said as quoted in the report.

China has depended on debt-fuelled infrastructure investment to hold up growth which slowed to its lowest level in 26 years last year, even as China is looking to shift towards a more balanced economy more driven by consumption and services.

India-China relations have been strained recently over multiple issues including China's blocking of India's NSG membership attempt and its support to Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar.

Another senior official from the southern province of Guangxi, bordering Vietnam, said on Saturday upgrading existing infrastructure to improve transportation speed "in all directions" within China is a key focus for the province.

China has already announced plans to station its marines there as well in Djibouti in Horn of Africa in Indian Ocean.

Xi said the two countries should strengthen cooperation on areas including counterterrorism and security, and improve coordination on major global and regional affairs.

Sharif said that the country will accelerate the construction of the corridor and take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and enterprises.

He reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment for the completion of early results under the CPEC.

The Prime Minister later met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before joining the Malaysian delegation at the bilateral meeting with the Chinese government and both witnessed the signing of three memorandums of understanding involving the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.

Photo taken on January 17, 2016 shows the stone monument in front of the headquarters building of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in downtown Beijing, capital of China.

  • Jon Douglas