China today reportedly agreed in principle to include three infrastructure projects in Sindh province, including circular railway for Karachi, at a meeting attended by top officials of the two countries where they reviewed the progress of the $46 billion CPEC project. Top Chinese and Pakistani officials reviewed the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at the 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of the project in Beijing.
Pakistani delegation was led by Federal Minister for Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal, while the Chinese team was led by Vice Chairman Wang Xiaotao.
Chinese authorities have in principle approved inclusion in CPEC of three development projects in Sindh including the Karachi Circular Railways, Keti Bandar and Special Economic Zones, Dawn reported, citing Sindh Chief Minister’s office.
The additional projects were being added to address criticism within different provinces that much of the benefits of the CPEC was garnered by the Punjab province.
The project is aimed at connecting Pakistan’s Gwadar port with China’s Xinjiang province with a host pipelines, road and rail network through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK).
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Earlier, speaking at the Peking University, Iqbal said CPEC is the biggest project under China’s One-Belt One-Road initiative that will unite the entire region.
He said under CPEC, USD 30 billion worth projects have been implemented. He said that with the addition of new projects in the 6th JCC, investment in CPEC will further increase.
He said China and Pakistan together will defeat all anti-CPEC forces. The participation of high-level officials from the provinces in JCC is the symbol of national unity and commitment for the project, he said.
He said CPEC related industrial cooperation will kick-start an economic revolution in Pakistan.
CPEC economic zones will generate investment and employment opportunities for the country, he said, adding that eight industrial zones will be set up in all provinces of the country.
He said a new security force has been formed to provide the security for people working in Chinese companies involved in the project.