On September 7, local time, the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan and Pakistan held the third China-Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers Dialogue in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. After the meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi introduced the five-point consensus reached during the dialogue.
Wang Yi said that China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan agreed that the tripartite cooperation should be explored and promoted within the framework of the "Belt and Road" initiative. The three parties are willing to strengthen connectivity, promote the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to Afghanistan, and work with international partners to build the Kabul-Peshawar highway; the three parties will carry out social and people's livelihood cooperation, and have agreed to drink water, cold storage, medical stations, and exits at the border between Pakistan and Pakistan Specific projects such as immigration reception facilities will be implemented. The three parties also agreed to deepen cultural exchanges and conduct exchanges and training in the fields of diplomats, cultural relics and archaeology, Red Societies, media, think tanks and other fields.
It is worth noting that in fact, as early as the end of 2017, at the first China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Dialogue, the idea of "the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project to Afghanistan" had surfaced.
Wang Yi said at the time that Afghanistan is a common neighbor of China and Pakistan. China and Pakistan are willing to work with Afghanistan to explore the extension of the China-Pakistan economic corridor to Afghanistan in an appropriate manner based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win. Gradually dock with China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor.
Now Afghanistan is one step closer to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Afghanistan, which is in the post-war reconstruction period, has a large demand for infrastructure construction, has an urgent desire to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood, and is also willing to integrate into the regional interconnectedness process. In recent years, the economic and trade relations between China and Afghanistan have also gradually heated up. In 2018, China-Arab bilateral trade volume was US $ 690 million, an increase of 27% year-on-year. By the end of 2018, China had signed a total of US $ 1.28 billion in engineering contract contracts in Afghanistan and completed a US $ 1.15 billion turnover.
Not only Afghanistan, but according to Pakistani media reports, Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan and Kazakhstan have also expressed interest in joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
In February this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Pakistan, brought a large investment of 20 billion US dollars, and will participate in the construction of a refinery facility in the port of Gwadar. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an interview with Arab Satellite TV that Saudi Arabia is invited to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a third party because the current development of the China-Pakistan Special Economic Zone requires investment, and Saudi Arabia can also enter China through investment. Market approach.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship project for the construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative. At present, important progress has been made. As of the end of 2018, 19 projects have been launched or completed under the corridor framework, with a total investment of nearly US $ 20 billion. Among them, 7 energy projects have been put into operation, with a total installed capacity of 3.4 million kilowatts, which can meet the electricity demand of 8.6 million households. Three transportation construction projects have been launched. The Karakoram Highway Upgrade Phase II, Karachi to Peshawar Expressway, The Lahore Orange Line is advancing steadily ... A series of projects have brought tangible benefits to Pakistan and surrounding areas.
In the future, as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project extends to Afghanistan, it will definitely bring tangible benefits to people in more countries and regions.