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Pak-Chinese Wheels Turning: Work on CPEC Progressing; Chinese Envoy

PESHAWAR: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong on Monday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was well on course to its completion.

Talking to reporters at China Window during his visit to Peshawar, Mr Nong said in its first stage the CPEC focused on energy and infrastructure projects which were successfully completed.

He said that most of energy projects built under the CPEC had been completed and China provided one-third of Pakistan’s electricity requirement during the Covid-19 pandemic at the lowest price.

China’s President Xi Jinping, right, meets Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

The ambassador said that under the CPEC’s infrastructure component Lahore’s Orange Line Metro had been completed. He said that some cargo for Afghanistan was coming through Gwadar port.

He said they were constructing and planning several new projects and more and more good news was in the pipeline.

Mr Nong said that some students from Pakistan could not go back to their classrooms in China due to restrictions related to Covid-19, but they could continue their education online. He said that the cooperation between the two countries on the provision of vaccine was going very smoothly.

50 schools damaged during militancy in Khyber to be rebuilt

He said that he also visited the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which was very important among the CPEC projects. He said both sides had attached great importance to this SEZ.

Mr Nong also met KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. They inaugurated a project for reconstruction of damaged schools in the merged districts.

In the first phase of the project, 24 schools for boys and 26 for girls, which were fully damaged during militancy in Bara tehsil of Khyber district, will be reconstructed.

The project’s estimated cost is Rs2.323 billion, out of which Rs868 million will be provided by Pakistan, while $10.29m will be contributed by the Chinese government.

On the occasion, the secretary of the elementary and secondary education department and the Chinese officials concerned signed a document for implementation of the reconstruction project.

Earlier, the chief minister and the Chinese ambassador were briefed about different aspects of the reconstruction project.

CM Khan thanked the Chinese government for its support to the KP government in the reconstruction of damaged schools.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the CPEC was a great example of Pak-China friendship.

He said the Rashakai SEZ would be inaugurated soon which would boost industrial activities in the province and create employment opportunities.

Mr Nong said the Chinese government wanted to further strengthen its ties with Pakistan.

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