Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was laying the foundation for sustained indigenous economic modernization. In an interview with the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, he said over the past 10 years, the construction of CPEC projects has helped Pakistan reduce the bottlenecks caused by past power shortages and weak infrastructure. Shehbaz said the government will continue to work closely with China to enhance the momentum of cooperation between the two countries. Regarding Pak-China friendship, he said the all-weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China is deeply rooted in people’s hearts, covering all areas of bilateral cooperation. Shehbaz further said that the two countries support each other on the issue of mutual core interests. Pakistan has always firmly supported the One China Policy and believes that Taiwan is its inalienable part, he added. The premier stated that Pakistan-China relations are an important factor for peace and stability in the region and the world. He said the development strategy of the coalition government depends on how to repair the economic fundamentals that constrain us from realizing our existing potential. Shehbaz said in order to stabilize the economy, Pakistan urgently needs to lay the foundation for the long-delayed structural reforms, adding that the government also needs to deepen economic and trade relations with friendly countries. The prime minister said that public policy transformation from geopolitics to geo-economics represents a consensus that we should realize the potential of to accelerate Pakistan’s development. Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif expressed Pakistan’s firm commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The prime minister, in a meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator Julien Harneis, highlighted that Pakistan had been contributing actively to the work of the UN, especially in the areas of peacekeeping, humanitarian action, climate change, and international cooperation for sustainable development. The prime minister appreciated the significant role played by the UN in supporting Pakistan’s progress towards the attainment of UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN resident coordinator briefed the prime minister on the ongoing activities of the United Nations in Pakistan including in the areas of sustainable development, humanitarian assistance, environmental protection, food security, and climate change. Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif met the grieved family of 12 Corps Commander late Lt General Sarfaraz Ali, who was recently martyred in a chopper crash in Balochistan s Lasbela area. Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif and Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb were also accompanied the premier. PM offered Fateha for the departed soul and condoled with the bereaved family. He said that whether it is a war against terrorists or a natural calamity, the soldiers and officers of the Pakistan Armed Forces act as the protectors of the country. The prime minister said that the entire country including him pays tribute to the martyrs for their sacrifices. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his words uttered on multiple occasions on Pak-China bilateral relations and CPEC. “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spoke highly of China-Pakistan relations and CPEC on multiple occasions. He is very committed to the practical cooperation between our two countries. China appreciates that,” Spokesperson Wang Wenbin in a response to a question asked by APP during his regular briefing. Wang Wenbin said CPEC was an economic initiative that was conducive to promoting regional connectivity, peace, stability and development. “China is ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on a common understanding between our two leaders,” he added. He said on the basis of ensuring sound and steady construction and operation of the existing projects, the two countries would focus on cooperation of such areas like industries, agriculture, science and technology, and information technology so as to build CPEC into a demonstration project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, he added, China had achieved remarkable development achievement.