China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. The two countries have formed a rock-solid friendship. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is, therefore, a landmark project of the co-construction of the “Belt and Road Initiative” by China and Pakistan, and an important manifestation of the ever-growing “Iron Friendship” between the two countries. The CPEC is over 3000 kilometres long, but more than that, it is a bond, which connects the Silk Road Economic Belt to the north and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to the south. While building a bridge for economic and trade exchanges between China and Pakistan, the CPEC is constantly enriching the connotation of a China-Pakistan community with a shared future. In 2013, the CPEC was formally proposed and positioned as a “Four-Sphere Integrated” channel and a trade corridor covering roads, railways, oil and gas pipelines, and fibre-optic cables. In 2015, the “1+4” cooperation layout was formed with the construction of the corridor as the centre, with an emphasis on Gwadar port, energy, infrastructure, and industrial cooperation. In December 2017, the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Vision Plan (2017-2030)” was officially released; combining China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and Pakistan’s “Vision 2025.” In December 2017, the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Vision (2030)” was officially released; dovetailing China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and Pakistan’s “Vision 2025,” with a focus on development in areas including connectivity, energy, trade, and industrial parks. From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, over years of development, Gwadar port gradually turned into a regional logistics hub. Since the start of its construction in 2013, the CPEC has created miracles one after another: China-Pakistan cross-border optical cable, Karakoram Highway upgrading and reconstruction project, Karot Hydropower Station, Lahore Rail Transit Orange Line Project, the second stage of dam cut-off achieved at the Sugejinaree Hydropower Project, etc. As of September 2021, 22 priority projects from the first phase of the CPEC are almost complete, half of which are energy projects. For example, the Port Qasim coal-fired power station has, since it entered commercial operation in April 2018, generated about 10 per cent of the power supply of Pakistan’s national grid. It is reported that the coal-fired power station will exceed 4.6 billion kWh in 2021. While accelerating its construction as a power supply base, the CPEC also attaches great importance to the development of clean energy. In November 2021, the Karot Hydropower Station, the first hydropower investment project under the CPEC, completed the closure of its diversion tunnel and officially started storing water in the reservoir; laying a foundation for the commissioning of subsequent generators. It is reported that the construction of the Karot Hydropower Station and the Sugijinari Hydropower Station is progressing smoothly. The construction of the Kohala Hydropower Station project will also begin after the signing of the franchise agreement in May 2021. During the first phase of construction, China and Pakistan are not only committed to improving energy shortage problems but also focused on infrastructure construction. There are many highlight projects, including Gwadar Port, Lahore Rail Transit Orange Line Project, Karakoram Highway upgrading and reconstruction project Phase II, China-Pakistan Cross-Border Optical Cable Project, etc. These mass transport infrastructure constructions are of great significance to Pakistan’s economic development. Thanks to highways and energy infrastructures, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises have come to invest in Pakistan; effectively promoting Pakistan’s economic development and at the same time, laying down a solid foundation for industrial cooperation in the second phase of the corridor. Under the framework of the CPEC, China and Pakistan have greatly facilitated inter-regional connectivity through the construction of various infrastructure facilities. Taking Gwadar port in Balochistan as an example, it is not only one of the four key points of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but also a pilot project for the co-construction of the “Belt and Road Initiative” between China and Pakistan. In November 2016, Gwadar port was officially opened, from where the first Chinese commercial ships set sail. From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, over years of development, Gwadar port gradually turned into a regional logistics hub. Even during the epidemic period, the construction of Gwadar port continued to advance. It is worth mentioning that Gwadar Port has also created many “firsts” in 2020. The launch of transit trade through Afghanistan is, for example, fully showing its transhipment potential. For the first time, it is expected that 10,000 tons of LPG will be shipped to Pakistan every month through Gwadar Port. In July 2020, a medium-sized cargo ship loaded with 16,000 tons of chemical fertilizers docked at Gwadar port for the first time and completed the unloading, warehousing, and storage of all goods. This marks the official launch of Afghanistan’s re-export business. It also shows that the CPEC can be extended to Afghanistan and further to Central Asia. From this point onwards, Afghanistan and the landlocked countries of Central Asia have a connecting access channel. Relying on the location advantage and connectivity of Gwadar port, in July 2020, a series of industrial projects such as Gwadar Fertilizer Factory, Gwadar Exhibition Center, and Gwadar Lubricating Oil Factory also started construction in Gwadar port Free Trade Zone. Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, who once served as the chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Affairs Bureau, had said: “The construction of Gwadar Port also has radiating benefits to the development and prosperity of Balochistan and other surrounding areas.” The writer is an award-winning strategic communications expert and a freelance journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com.