ISLAMABAD: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Luo Zhaohui called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.
PM Imran briefed the Chinese side on the evolving situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) after New Delhi’s unilateral and illegal actions of August 5.
He stressed that the curfew in place for the past 35 days, the continued lockdown and communications blockade, and the massive human rights violations had created a dire humanitarian situation in IOK which needed to be urgently addressed.
He said that the curfew and other restrictions needed to be lifted immediately.
The Chinese foreign minister reaffirmed Beijing’s support for Pakistan’s stance and reiterated its opposition to any unilateral action, as well as the measures by India, that could further complicate the regional security situation.
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Recalling the depth and breadth of Pakistan-China ties, PM Imran underscored that friendship with China was a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
He said the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ between the two countries was deeply rooted in mutual trust and respect and was an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.
He stressed that in order to deepen strategic cooperation, Pakistan and China should continue their close coordination and consultations to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The Chinese state councilor conveyed President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang’s best wishes to PM Imran and said that the Pakistan-China relationship was “rock-solid and unbreakable”.
Wang highlighted that Pakistan and China’s bilateral relationship was based on “mutual respect, trust and strong bonds of friendship”. He appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to achieve goals of national development and extended China’s utmost support in this regard.
The Chinese foreign minister noted that Pakistan’s economic and financial condition was improving due to the current government’s policies.
PM Imran said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a project of great national significance that contributed immensely to the revitalisation of Pakistan’s economy.
He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the timely completion of CPEC projects and highlighted the importance of the CPEC Authority for speedy execution of CPEC projects.
He expressed hope that more Chinese companies would invest in Pakistan and help support Pakistan’s process of industrialisation, as well as its policies of greater agricultural productivity and innovation.
Both leaders agreed that more high-level exchanges should continue to promote bilateral ties and to help the two countries achieve their shared goals of economic development, peace, and security across the region.
Joint statement on Chinese FM’s visit
In a joint press release issued on the culmination of the Chinese foreign minister’s two-day visit to Pakistan, Beijing reaffirmed its support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and said it opposes any unilateral actions that could complicate the regional situation.
The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and national dignity, in choosing its development path in light of its national conditions, in working for a better external security environment, and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international issues.
The visiting delegation said China is paying close attention to the current situation in IOK 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.
Highlighting the progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both countries agreed that it has entered a new phase of ‘high-quality development’ and will be completed in a timely manner.
Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and ‘win-win’ cooperation.
They reiterated that the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Pakistan is an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.
“This partnership remains unaffected by any adverse regional and international development and continues to move from strength to strength,” the statement read.
Both sides agreed to maintain frequent visits and hold bilateral meetings at higher level to continue to enhance strategic mutual trust and improve all-round cooperation to jointly promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
“The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties. Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” the statement said.
The press statement said that China and Pakistan welcomed the progress of negotiations between the Afghan-Taliban and the United States.
They called on all Afghan political stakeholders, including the Afghan-Taliban, to start intra-Afghan negotiations to form a future political structure acceptable to all parties and achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date.
During his two-day visit, Chinese FM Wang held meetings with President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.