The official launch of CPEC took place on April 20, 2015, when the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chinese President Xi Jinping signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding with a combined value of $46 billion. The actual beginnings of CPEC, however, and therefore the answer to the question ‘Who started CPEC?’ lie further back in history. Given the scale of the project – which is designed to form a major plank of the Chinese One Belt one Road (OBOR) initiative – it should come as little surprise to discover that it developed from roots which are slightly more complex than a meeting between the two heads of government. OBOR One Belt One Road is the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is an ambitious project that focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among multiple countries spread across the continent of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The OBOR consists of CPEC and another five corridors which deliver infrastructure development in more than 65 countries, accounting for 60% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP.
The alliance between Pakistan and China is strategic, the regional proximity and shared concerns are driving in accordance . It has been the most important feature of the coalition , since as long ago as the early 1960s. During recent decades, however, the feeling has grown in both countries that the vital union they wish to pursue will only be successful if they work together much more closely in economic terms
This policy was declared in practical terms when the two leaders signed an agreement based around economic co-operation. So, the first fruits of this policy emerged in 2000, when President Pervez Musharraf visited China and used meetings with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji to underline the need for much stronger economic links between the two countries. This was pursued in 2001, when Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visited Pakistan and signed six agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding which covered areas including railways, telecommunications, tourism, mining and petroleum. This was the same visit during which President Musharaff asked the Chinese Premier to support the construction of Gwadar Port. The support was forthcoming and, even more importantly, when Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bang Guo visited Pakistan in 2002, he attended the Gwadar Port ground-breaking ceremony in the company of President Musharaff. Although Gwadar Port is now rightly seen as playing a central role in the wider CPEC project, at the time it was described as the ‘Pak-China Friendship Journey from Karakoram to Gwadar’.