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Belt and Road

Pakistan's Sharif woos China by targeting Belt and Road bottlenecks

Gwadar visits highlight new PM's attempts to keep Beijing happier than predecessor

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, right, hosts Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Islamabad in late June.   © Xinhua/Kyodo

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is working to jump-start Chinese development projects that sputtered under his predecessor as he scrambles to keep Beijing happy and shore up his country's troubled economy.

In June alone, Sharif made two trips to the port town of Gwadar, a key location in China's Belt and Road development initiative. Previous Pakistani leaders would typically visit once or twice a year. Apart from Sharif, the planning minister and a top prime ministerial aide also visited Gwadar in an apparent effort to pick up the pace of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

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