Chinese vice premier to visit Pakistan on July 30

Lifeng will be the chief guest at an event celebrating the decade of CPEC.

Chinese Vice Prime Minister He Lifeng will visit Pakistan on July 30 to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said the foreign ministry spokesperson on Saturday.

A member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the vice premier will also call on President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his visit.

Lifeng will be the chief guest at an event celebrating the decade of CPEC during his visit from July 30 to August 1, added the spokesperson.

“The vice prime minister has played a prominent role in China’s international economic relations and implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, of which CPEC is a flagship project. As the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (2017-23), he was instrumental in the planning and execution of multiple CPEC projects in Pakistan.”

“The visit is part of regular high-level exchanges and dialogue between Pakistan and China. It reflects the importance attached by Pakistan and China to further deepen their ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’, enhance economic and financial cooperation, advance high-quality development of CPEC, and explore new avenues for strengthening trade and investment ties between the two countries.”

China invested close to $30 billion in 10 years mainly focusing on energy and infrastructure projects. The second phase of CPEC envisaging special economic zones could not move ahead primarily because of the PTI government’s policy to slow down the project.

However, CPEC gathered renewed attention since the change of government in April last year.

China bailed out Pakistan at a crucial juncture when Islamabad was on the verge of a sovereign default.

Beijing rolled over and refinanced loans that helped Islamabad keep its foreign reserves to a level where it could avoid a default.

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