CPEC added new chapter in Pak China long history, close partnership: Masood Khalid

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BEIJING (China), February 24 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid Friday said China’s ‘Western Development Strategy’ was closely linked to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which had added a new chapter in the long history of the close and comprehensive partnership.
“I am confident that as we move forward, the Chinese economy will continue to achieve stable growth and sustainable development,” he in an interview with ‘China Daily’ said.
He said the upcoming annual two sessions of China’s national people’s congress and political consultative conference would continue to provide new solutions to respond to increasing protectionism around the world and ideas to accelerate the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative.
The top Pakistan’s diplomat in China voiced his hopes to describe what intrigued him most when it came to the annual gathering of the country’s lawmakers and political advisors.
“Like most international observers, I will watch with keen interest the proceedings of the two sessions, especially on the economy and connectivity,” he said.
Masood Khalid said the two sessions were taking place at a time when China was successfully coming out of downturn pressures and the country had already entered into the implementation phase of the 13th Five Year Plan (2016 20) with an objective to build a “moderately prosperous society”.
He noted China’s continued focus on reforms and opening up, innovation, social development and environmental protection.
“We will be interested to know the guidance the Chinese leadership provides on economic development in light of this year’s ‘Government Work Report’,” he said.
On China’s role in the global context, the ambassador noted that China was not only the second largest economy in the world, but also the engine of global growth, and the whole world was watching with interest its economic development and foreign trade.
“President Xi Jinping’s visionary initiative of the Belt and Road initiative provides an innovative solution to the challenges being faced by the global economy through inclusiveness, mutual trust and win win cooperation, and building a community of shared destiny,” he added.
The envoy noted that since reforms and opening up, “China has made tremendous progress in economic development”.
“It has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty,” he said.
The ambassador referred to the Chinese economy in 2016 beating expectations and successfully achieving a GDP growth rate target of 6.7 percent.
“Industrial output, fiscal revenue and foreign investments have increased creating more jobs and increasing average incomes. The critical social sectors of education, health and social security have also seen considerable improvement. These are encouraging signs and will have a positive impact on the global economy,” he said.
“China’s march towards progress and prosperity will not only improve the lives of Chinese people but also provide valuable impetus to global development,” he added.