x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pakistan and China set sights on Arabian Sea link

Another agreement will see a fibre optic cable laid from the Chinese border to the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi that will boost Pakistan's access to international communications networks.

BEIJING // China and Pakistan have set their sights on a transport link from northwestern China to the Arabian Sea that they hope will boost economic growth and slash shipping times.

The broad agreement was among eight pacts signed today following a meeting in Beijing between the Chinese premier Li Keqiang and Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani prime minister.

The transport link was described it as a "long-term plan" to connect the Chinese city of Kashgar to the port of Gwadar, more than 2,000 kilometres away across the towering Karakoram mountains and Pakistan's lawless Baluchistan province.

Another agreement will see a fibre optic cable laid from the Chinese border to the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi that will boost Pakistan's access to international communications networks. China is to provide 85 per cent of financing.