|Prei Dy |||Apr 24, 2017 07:54 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shankes hands with Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain (L) at The Great Hall Of The People in Beijing, China.
Pakistan residents are reportedly seeing significant changes in the country, two years after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) program was launched.
"The locals are being skilled with construction of these mega projects, with respect to construction of bridges, tunnels, and other protection establishments involved in these projects, so we are seeing a lot of things being transferred from the Chinese, which goes in the benefits of this nation," Muhammad Nisar Khan, a general manager of a section of the CPEC project, said.
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The CPEC is a significant element of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' that was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. The multi-billion dollar plan includes building infrastructure along the route connecting Xinjiang's Kashgar city in China to the southwestern Pakistani port Gwadar.
A security guard at the Gwadar port Bashir Ahmed also shared how the CPEC program opened educational opportunities for his children. "They helped us build a good primary school. Our children study there. They also helped us build homes to improve living conditions," he said.
Other locals have also said that aside from improving traffic conditions, the CPEC has also created about 2,500 jobs.
"I have learned a lot since I came here. Now I can operate the main machines, learn cutting and welding. And also, I can operate crane," a worker at the construction site said.
Locals were also hired for the security forces that have been deployed to safeguard the projects under the CPEC as they can perform well in their respective areas, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, minister for planning, development, and reforms, said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has officially handed over the operations of Gwadar port to the state-run China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) for 40 years. The firm will perform all the development work associated with the Gwadar port. It will also collect 91 percent share from the gross revenue of terminal and marine operations, and 85 percent of gross revenue of free trade operations. Based on the constitution, the provinces will have no share in revenue collection for this.
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