Islamabad (May 12, 2017): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday departed for China to attend the two-day conference on ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative starting in Beijing from Sunday.
The Prime Minister is attending the summit on invitation of President Xi Jinping.
Nawaz Shairf is being accompanied by a high level delegation comprising chief ministers of all four provinces, Federal Ministers Ishaq Dar, Saad Rafique, Khurram Dastgir, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State Anusha Rahman, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and other officials.
The prime minister will attend the inaugural session of the summit and the plenary meeting of high-level dialogue. He will also attend the leaders’ roundtable sessions on second day of the forum.
During his two days visit, the Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang and other dignitaries attending the moot.
The prime minister will also meet investors and business leaders on the sidelines of the conference.
It is to be mentioned here that the ‘One Belt, One Road’ is a giant initiative of Chinese president Xi Jinpingm, which he unveiled in 2013. The initiative propose a new economic framework that would connect China’s Silk Road Economic Belt project in Central Asia with its Maritime Silk Road through connected bodies of water from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. In essence, these trade strategies focus on increasing China’s connection with countries along the historical Silk Road in Eurasia, while creating a new Silk Road through Asia to South Asia and Africa.
One part of the project is centred on the creation of road connections between China and Eurasia, including infrastructure projects such as highways and rail lines. The other part of the project concerns maritime routes that will connect China with South East Asia, South Asia and ports up and down the east coast of Africa.
The scale of this vision, if completed, is the project’s greatest selling point and potential challenge. The trade links outlined would cover 65 per cent of the world’s population, one-third of global GDP and a quarter of all the goods and services in the international economy.