Wednesday 23 October 2019
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Dawn News - 14 days ago

Pakistan, China resolve to strengthen strategic partnership as PM Imran concludes visit

Pakistan and China on Wednesday reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen their bilateral strategic partnership, a joint statement issued after the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan s two-day visit to Beijing said. The prime minister visited China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday. During the visit, the premier called on Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman Li Zhanshu. He also met Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen. The prime minister attended the closing ceremony of the Beijing Horticulture Expo 2019 as the chief guest. He congratulated the Chinese leadership and people on the 70th foundation anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. He felicitated China for its remarkable growth and underscored that the reform and opening-up process of China was a model for developing countries. The two sides reaffirmed their support on issues concerning each other’s core interests. Chinese leaders expressed solidarity with Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty, independence and security. The Pakistan side reaffirmed its commitment to the One China Policy. Supporting One Country Two Systems, Pakistan reiterated that affairs of Hong Kong were China’s internal matter and all countries should uphold international law and basic norms of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, the joint press release read. The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in occupied Kashmir and reiterated that the issue is a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation. The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in common interest of all parties. Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Both sides maintained that the second phase of CPEC will promote industrial and socio-economic development in Pakistan. Pakistan side also underlined that the Gwadar Port has been granted various facilities enabling it to become a trade and logistical hub for the region. The two sides expressed determination to speedily execute CPEC so that its growth potential can be fully realized making it a high-quality demonstration project for the Belt and Road Initiative. Both sides agreed to jointly study identified projects in power, petroleum, gas, agriculture, industrial and infrastructure sectors. Those projects were entrusted to the concerned Joint Working Groups (JWGs) for deliberation and subsequent consideration by the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC). The two sides held in-depth exchange of views on deepening bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, finance, defence and security, education, agriculture, social sector, people-to-people contacts and cultural linkages. Both sides renewed their commitment to reinforce sister-city ties and were happy to note that a major event was being organized in Islamabad in November 2019 to deepen cultural cooperation and people-to-people ties between the two countries. The two sides agreed that early implementation of the Second Phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement would contribute to increase in bilateral trade. Both sides agreed to take full advantage of the China-Pakistan Joint Economic and Trade Commission to achieve balanced and sustainable development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Prime Minister Imran thanked Chinese leadership for providing opportunities to Pakistani students to study in China. He hoped that those students will play an important role in further deepening historic and deep-rooted ties between the two iron brothers. Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Chinese leadership for China’s consistent support for Pakistan’s economic development. The leaders reviewed the excellent bilateral defence cooperation and agreed to further strength this cooperation in the areas of military exercises, training cooperation, personnel exchanges, and equipment and technology cooperation. Reaffirming that there was no military solution in Afghanistan, the two sides agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan was vital for regional security and expressed satisfaction at the important outcomes of the Third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Minister’s Dialogue held in Islamabad on 7 September 2019. The Chinese side appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in promoting peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Both sides maintained that an inclusive, and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process would be key to bring peace and stability in the country. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called on all countries to strengthen international cooperation on counter-terrorism. China appreciated Pakistan’s unrelenting efforts and tremendous sacrifices in countering terrorism. It supported Pakistan in implementing its National Action Plan and called on the international community to objectively recognize Pakistan’s contributions to regional peace and security through its success in fight against terrorism. During the visit, Prime Minister Imran and Chinese premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing of the various agreements and MoUs. The prime minister thanked the leadership and people of China for their warm hospitality, and invited the Chinese leadership to visit Pakistan at a mutually convenient time.


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