BEIJING — China’s Silk Road Fund unveiled its first project for investment in the Belt and Road initiative during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Pakistan on April 21, marking a milestone of the all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the first project of the $40 billion fund means the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives have taken another step forward.
The investment into the $1.65 billion Karot hydropower project in Pakistan, along with other hydropower projects in the region, will help the South Asian country upgrade power supply and improve its economic performance.
Moreover, as Xi put it, the project is of significant meaning to choose the Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan as the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund since its establishment last December.
For the project is a priority within the broader China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, a flagship program of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southwest Pakistan’s deepwater Gwadar Port with northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
With the CPEC at the center, China and Pakistan could achieve a win-win result and common development, and bring benefit to their people.
For China, it would shorten the route for its energy imports.
For Pakistan, a “1+4” cooperation structure with the CPEC at the center and the Gwadar Port, transport infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation being the four key areas, will boom the country’s economy and improve people’s livelihood.
Furthermore, advancing the construction of the CPEC will set an example for other major projects of interconnectivity in this region, and inject confidence into other countries along the Belt and Road.
Owing to the corridor’s geographical position where the Belt and Road meet, the CPEC is expected to combine South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East and China together, and benefit directly about 3 billion people in the whole region.
Based on this, it could function as a bridge in advancing the Belt and Road initiative after being well developed and successfully operated.
Actions speak louder than words. China, as a responsible power in the world, has always maintained peace and stability in the region and exerted great efforts to bring development opportunities for other countries.