At the meetings forum for China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) held in Karamay-Xinjiang last week, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal proposed a space technology collaboration between China and Pakistan. His proposal was approved and made a part of the Karamay-Xinjiang Declaration. The declaration was later approved unanimously after the two-day meeting ended.
At the concluding session, Ahsan Iqbal said that bilateral collaboration on space technology will take Pakistan-China relations to new heights. He stressed upon a joint launch of space missions which consist of astronauts from both countries. He said:
This is the strength of the CPEC to increase more connectivity between the two friendly countries. It will shape up the future destiny of both the nations through communication linkages.
Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, Sun Weidong, was also a part of the CPEC forum. He labelled the meetings as successful in increasing understanding among the related stakeholders for implementing the CPEC. He pointed out the field of energy and communication as a major part of the CPEC.
Over 300 officials, businesspersons and public figures were a part of the two-day forum.
Another decision made at the forum was to make these meetings a permanent platform that will meet every year to examine the project and present collaboration on broader aspects. The forum will also be used to ensure the project’s true objective of promoting Pakistan-China relations.
At the end of the closing session, Senator Mushahid Hussain and China’s NPC Committee Vice Chairperson Madam Baige Zaho gave a detailed joint presentation on the approvals and achievements of the CPEC forum. They appreciated the shared cultural heritage of Silk Road and how it has historically brought wealth to countries along the road and symbolized peace, collaboration and shared benefits.
The CPEC has become an integral and important part of the broad consensus between the leaders of both countries for collaboration projects in all aspects of life.
The declaration is quoted as:
Jointly building through consultation to meet the interests of all stake-holders. Concerted efforts should be made to achieve major goals in policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, and financial integration aiming at promoting the common development of both countries.
China is a member of the International Space Station and has a wide network of global satellites for military and civilian purposes. If the written collaboration project does become a physical realization and include some joint operations, Pakistan could gain immensely by learning from China’s maturity in the space technology field. This could even help Pakistan become a member of the few elite in the field helping in improving both civilian and military communications technologies.