Pakistani media terms PM Sharif's China visit successful

 ISLAMABAD, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani media has hailed the six- day official visit by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China as a " great success" and hoped that the visit would give a new boost to economic cooperation between the two time-tested neighbors.

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday wrapped up his July 3-8 visit to China, his first foreign trip since the assumption of power last month. The two countries signed eight Memorandums of Understanding and agreements including the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor accord to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation.

  "Preparation and research in Nawaz Sharif's discussions with the hosts was reflective of the seriousness of purpose. The outcome: "more fruitful than expected," leading daily The Nation said in its editorial comments on Tuesday.

   The editorial titled "A successful mission" said that Chinese leaders gave tremendous response to the prime minister's overtures of cooperation in undertaking various projects requiring billions of dollars of investment.

  "Energy was not the only field in which they (Chinese leaders) came forward to help. They also took up the challenge of building metro bus systems in several towns of Punjab, underground railway in Karachi and infrastructure projects," the comments said.

    The daily also praised the Pakistani government's decision to set-up a China Cell at the Prime Minister's House to monitor and pursue the work on projects to forestall delay.The influential Dawn newspaper said the agreement between Pakistan and China to build a trade link connecting Gwadar's deep- sea port with Kashgar steps up bilateral economic cooperation.

   "The two countries realize the significance of the new link described as the Pak-China economic corridor. The long-term plan connecting the two countries by road in the beginning and by rail later must boost economic growth in Pakistan," Dawn said in editorial "Road to Kashgar: Pak-China Project."

 The paper said when the project takes off, hopefully soon, the corridor will become a very important economic and energy hub for the entire region.A largely-circulated daily THE NEWS said perhaps the most significant agreements signed between the two countries is the  establishment of a trade corridor which the prime minister predicted to be a "game-changer" for the region.

"The Chinese are to help with the construction of motorways and there are investment pledges said to be worth billions of dollars.
They are also to provide assistance with digging Pakistan 's power sector out of the hole it has been dug into and the entire exercise radiates optimism," the daily said in its editorial " Chinese chances" on Tuesday.

   Another major daily The Express Tribune in its editorial said Nawaz Sharif's third term in office appears to have had a great start on the foreign policy front, first playing host to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang even before he formally took office and now having signed a slew of agreements on his trip to Beijing.

   "If all goes as promised, the Nawaz Administration will be able to rightly take credit for having transformed the economic map of Pakistan for the better," the paper said Tuesday.

Referring to the trade corridor that links the Chinese city of Kashgar to Gwadar, the paper said it would offer some of Pakistan poorest parts of the country a link to the world economy and with it a path to prosperity.

"This is something that should have been done decades ago, and should it happen as planned, we would be delighted," it said. Pakistan's main economic daily Business Recorder said Pakistan and China looked to deepen mutually beneficial economic co- operation with a new vigor.

  "Although, bilateral trade has improved considerably, touching the 12 billion U.S. dollars mark last year, it is still far short of the real potential. Pakistan, of course, badly needs trade and investment at this point in time to boost its sagging economy," the daily said in its editorial "China comes to our rescue."
  The largely-circulated Urdu-language daily "Jang" described Nawaz Sharif's visit as reflection of the deep-rooted relationship between Pakistan and China. The daily in its editorial "Sino-Pak Cooperation:

Substantial Progress" referred to the Joint Statement on "Common Vision for Deepening Pakistan-China Strategic Cooperative Partnership in the New Era" which said both sides decided to continue to deepen the Sino-Pakistan strategic partnership in the new era. The daily said Pakistan-China relations are very significant in view of the 2014 NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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