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Chinese President extended unwavering support to Pakistan sovereignty

10 October, 2019

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Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his country’s ‘unwavering support’ to Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on Wednesday.

In a meeting held at the People’s Great Hall of China, the two leaders resolved to further deepen strategic communication and strengthen all-weather cooperation as they led their delegations in the Chinese capital.

The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister of Planning Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of Railways Sheikh Raheed Ahmed, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gilani, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and senior officials.

President Xi also expressed support on all issues of Pakistan’s core national interest, saying that China’s relationship with Pakistan is rock-solid and unbreakable, the PM Office said following the meeting. Both leaders exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

Prime Minister Khan assured the Chinese president of speedy completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects treating it as ‘top priority of his government’. He said CPEC, an integral part of President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative, will play a transformational role in accelerating Pakistan’s economic development and promoting regional connectivity and prosperity.

Imran Khan underscored that China is Pakistan’s steadfast ally, staunch partner and iron brother who firmly supports its national interests besides advancing economic goals. He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support to China on all issues of core interest.

On Kashmir issue, the prime minister highlighted the continued lockdown of millions of Kashmiris for over two months that created a dire humanitarian situation in the Valley. He stressed the urgency to immediately lift curfew in Indian-held Kashmir to alleviate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people and avert risks to peace and security in the region.

President Xi lauded agenda of Imran Khan’s government of socio-economic development and people-centric progress. He lauded Pakistan’s efforts to expeditiously execute CPEC projects and stressed that it will help national and regional economic development process. He expressed confidence that the strong vibrancy between the two countries will deepen and broaden in future. He appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism and maintained that Pakistan through institutional and economic reforms is resolutely and promisingly on the way to substantial economic development.

Both leaders agreed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan will promote economic development and connectivity in the region and expressed the resolve to continue to support peace and reconciliation process. The meeting agreed to keep momentum of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China as the two leaders expressed satisfaction over close cooperation at multilateral forums.

Later, President Xi hosted lunch in honour of Prime Minister Imran Khan. A joint statement issued at the conclusion of the prime minister’s two-day visit maintained that the two sides reaffirmed their firm resolve to further strengthening Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership aimed at building a community of shared future in the new era. Stressing that the close ties, deep-rooted friendship and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China served the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and contributed to peace, stability and development in the region, the two sides reaffirmed their support on issues concerning each other’s core interests. Chinese leaders reiterated 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 are China’s internal matter and all countries should uphold international law and basic norms of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries.

The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns, position, and current urgent issues. The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in Kashmir and reiterated that the Kashmir 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. The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia is in common interest of all parties, who need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Pakistan side underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a transformational project. The two sides maintained that the ninth session of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) to be held in November in Islamabad will further fast-track implementation of the ongoing projects and explore new avenues of cooperation, including ML-1. The two sides underlined that Chinese investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and collaboration in SME sector would further expand Pakistan’s industrial base and diversify its export base.

Both sides agreed to jointly study identified projects by the Pakistan side 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.

Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Chinese leadership for China’s consistent support for Pakistan’s economic development. The two sides agreed that early implementation of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement will 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.

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 is 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.

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