On July 13, 2018, the opening ceremony of the key project “The Belt and Road Initiative” (B&R) – “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” was held in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Nearly 700 people who come from various industries in China and Pakistan attended the opening ceremony. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Pakistani – Moorek, the head of special communications organisation General – Bajwa, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan – Yao Jing, and General Manager of China Telecom International Co., Ltd. – Deng Xiaofeng attended the opening ceremony as well.
Yao Jing, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, said that the “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” is the first cross-border cable which connects China and Pakistan directly. It was the early successes of “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project, which President Xi inaugurated in Islamabad in April 2015.
The “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” starts from Urumqi, China, and across the Khunjerab port nearby China-Pakistan border to the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, with a total length of 2,950 kilometres. This project is also a strategic project for China Telecom to achieve the interconnection with neighbouring countries. Recently, China Telecom and Pakistani partners successfully conducted the cross-border system testing and acceptance checking. The transmission indicators of the whole process are eligible and has fully equipped to the requirements for executing large-capacity services.
The launching of the “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” project is a breakthrough in interconnection of infrastructure between the two countries and creating the history of landing cable connection between the two countries. This is an important milestone of the China and Pakistan cooperation in the field of communication and information technology. It is also the latest achievement for building the B&R between two counties. After the launching of the “China-Pakistan Cable” project, the communication delay between China and Pakistan has been greatly shorten, and build a new strategic channel for China, Middle East and Africa. As a basic sub-project of the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project, the “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” project has greatly improved the infrastructure capacity of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and provide key capabilities for the “China-Pakistan Information Corridor” project.
Deng Xiaofeng, the general manager of China Telecom International Co., Ltd., mentioned that the “Pak-China Optical Fiber Cable has been in operation for a full decade since the project was launched. The cable across the Karakoram Mountains, Hindu Kush Mountains, Pamirs Plateau, and the Himalayas. It passes through the highest Khunjerab port in the world at an altitude of 4733 meters. The geological terrain is complex, and the altitude is high of the whole Journey. It also needs to pass through nearly 100 kilometres of no man’s land. China Telecom and their partners have worked together to overcome the difficulties about short construction period and construction difficulty. Finally, they completed the construction of cables, server rooms and support facilities and this dream of many years has finally come true. As the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing said that this is the real “Digital Karakoram Highway”.
The opening of “Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable” will lay the foundation for promoting the core projects of “China-Pakistan Information Corridor” project and will play an important role in promoting the infrastructure interconnection and regional economic development between China and Pakistan.