The great efforts China has made to successfully hold Beijing Winter Olympic Games are admirable at a time when “sporting events all over the world have been affected” by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
During a recent interview here with Chinese media, the Pakistani prime minister said that he is looking forward to visiting China and attending the Feb. 4 opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
As a former Pakistani cricket star, Khan had a remarkable sports career, one of whose highlights is that he captained the country’s national team to win the Cricket World Cup in 1992.
“For almost 20 years of my life, I was an international sportsman … I look forward (to Beijing 2022) because as a sportsman, apart from our relationship, close relationship between the two countries, it will be very interesting for me to see a competition,” he added.
Lauding China’s significant progress in sports including winter sports, Khan said that “during the last two or three Olympics, China’s performance has been very impressive,” which shows that the country is putting a lot of efforts into developing sports and fitness.
Noting that some areas in Pakistan are ideal for skiing, the prime minister said his country expects to enhance collaboration, connection and interaction with China in the field of sports.
Talking about bilateral relations between Pakistan and China, Khan noted that the two countries are good neighbors and always stand with each other in the hour of need, adding that the relationship has grown stronger during the last seven decades.
The construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, has helped Pakistan to break the bottlenecks in electricity supply and transport infrastructure, which had impeded Pakistan’s development, he said.
In the new phase of high-quality development of CPEC, Pakistan expects to deepen its cooperation with China in the fields of industrial zones, information technology and agriculture, Khan added.
“In agriculture, we want China’s help to improve our productivity, because in China, the productivity is much higher in agriculture and livestock yields compared to Pakistan … China has grown these drought-resistance cotton varieties. We have large tracts of lands in Pakistan where these varieties of cotton can be grown. So that’s where we are going to get help from China.”
He noted that through constant and sustainable economic development, the lives of the Chinese people have been greatly improved, and China’s achievements in poverty alleviation “never happened in human history before.”
Calling China’s whole-process democracy a model in the world, the prime minister said that “it was an inclusive growth in China. When China grew, the whole population grew with China. It was unfortunately, like a lot of the rest of the world, where the rich get richer and the poor, in fact, get poorer.”
He said that economic development is a focus of his government and Pakistan will continue to learn from China’s experience in poverty alleviation, inclusive growth and megacity management.
Refuting the West’s false propaganda against China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the prime minister said that Moin ul Haque, Pakistani ambassador to China, visited Xinjiang last year and “sent us information that this (Western propaganda) is actually not true on the ground.”
During the interview, the prime minister also expressed his greetings on the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, and wished the two countries to deepen their win-win cooperation in the new year.