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HomeSummarized NewsFirst cargo train under CPEC leaves China for Karachi

First cargo train under CPEC leaves China for Karachi

First cargo train under CPEC leaves China for Karachi

1 Dec, 2016: BEIJING  China and Pakistan launched direct rail and sea freight service, linking southwest China’s inland Yunnan Province and Pakistan’s largest Port of Port Qasim in Karachi. The freight line will cut transport cost by over 50 percent compared with past services, Xinhua news said in a report.A cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, capital of Yunnan, for Karachi, marking the opening of the new route.“The route helps locals businesses connect with the world market,” a representative from the New Silk Road Yunnan Limited said.

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Rail-based mass transit projects approved for Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta in CPEC

BEIJING – (29 Dec) :  Chinese officials effectually scrapped discords between the federal and provincial governments by approving inclusion of 30 mega-projects in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during sixth Pakistan-China Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting that was held in Beijing. The Pakistani delegation was led by Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, while the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Chairman Mr Wang Xiaotao. Pak-China Joint Cooperation Committee approved rail-based mass transit projects for four provinces. These projects include Greater Peshawar Mass Transit, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Quetta Mass Transit and Lahore Orange Line Train Project.

The two sides also signed new agreements and MoUs relating to transportation infrastructure, Gwadar and electricity transmission lines under the CPEC, according to a press release issued by the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing. The JCC also discussed the way forward for effective and timely completion of various CPEC projects. The meeting was also attended, among others, by federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Balochistan CM Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Gilgit-Baltistan CM Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rahman.

The Sindh chief minister told the JCC’s working group on ports that Keti Bandar could serve as an ideal location for a power park run on coal from the Thar fields. It could also provide an ideal platform for future exports. After due deliberation, the JCC decided to include the Keti Bandar power park and seaport project in the CPEC and to carry out a feasibility study. According to officials in Quetta, the JCC in principle approved 30 projects, of which 12 pertained to Balochistan. The projects that were approved included those relating to constructing additional berths at the Gwadar port, mass transit system for Quetta, supply of additional water to the provincial capital and establishment of industrial estates in Bostan and Khuzdar. ‘Courtesy  Dawn News’

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Behind Pakistan’s CPEC offer

Days after a senior Pakistani General suggested that India should shun its “enmity” with Pakistan and join the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the Chinese foreign ministry has called the offer a “goodwill gesture”, exhorting India to take it up. At face value, the suggestion is odd. India has no dialogue with Pakistan at present, and has opposed the project, bilaterally with China “at the highest level” as well as at the UN. Relations with China have deteriorated considerably since President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan to announce the project in April 2015. Initially, New Delhi sought to play down its significance, as it was made just weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China, and the government would have hoped to dissuade Beijing from pushing the more objectionable projects that run through disputed territory. However, not only has the corridor taken shape rapidly, China and Pakistan have been drawn into a closer embrace, with Pakistan investing considerable resources in securing Chinese officials working on CPEC, and China redrawing its plans for the One Belt One Road to Central Asia to incorporate Pakistan’s interests. China has defended Pakistan against India’s efforts to pin it down with regard to support to terror groups, and to draw obstructionist equivalence with India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership application. Given all this, the General’s suggestion can only be understood to have been made rhetorically, especially as it was accompanied by allegations of India’s “anti-Pakistan activities and subversion” in Balochistan.

While there can be little expectation of any room for India in CPEC at present, there is space for India to step back and see where China and Pakistan want to go with it. The offer to India was made along with offers to other “neighbouring countries”. Already, Iran wants Gwadar to be a “sister” port to Chabahar, and Turkmenistan and other Central Asian republics have shown interest in the warm-water port that will be a nodal point for goods through Pakistan to the Chinese city of Kashgar. Further north, despite its problems on terror from Pakistan, Afghanistan is becoming a nodal point for China’s connectivity projects to Iran. The meeting among Russian, Chinese and Pakistani officials on Afghanistan this week, and Russian engagement with the Taliban, indicate much more is changing in the region than just the alignment of highways and tunnels. While India has done well to shore up relations with others in the region, it cannot afford to be blindsided by their involvement with the OBOR project and Chinese plans. CPEC is no longer a project in Pakistan, but one that runs through it, a project that will link 64 countries.  ‘Courtesy The Hindu India’

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