Islamabad (Agencies): Pakistan and China have reaffirmed the resolve to work together for promoting regional peace and prosperity as well as jointly cope with external challenges. Both sides emphasised the need to further advance and deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, economy, culture and defence for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The two sides also called for increasing bilateral exchanges, people-to-people contacts, and cooperation in the fields of culture and tourism to further cement bilateral ties.
This was discussed at a meeting between President Dr Arif Alvi and the visiting State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China, Mr Qin Gang, who along with the members of his delegation, called on him. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sun Weidong, and senior government officials of Pakistan and China.
Welcoming the Foreign Minister of China, the President said that Pakistan-China relations were rooted in mutual trust, understanding, goodwill and both sides firmly supported each other on core issues. He highlighted that Pakistan-China mutual cooperation was assuming an even greater significance in the light of new developments taking place in the regional and international arenas.
The President said that Pakistan was committed to the completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar port, which would play a significant role in the promotion of bilateral trade, besides enhancing regional trade and connectivity. He said that Pakistan would take effective measures to ensure the security of the Chinese personnel working on various CPEC projects. He expressed optimism that the recent opening of Khunjerab Pass would facilitate the movement of goods from Xinjiang to Gwadar and vice versa.
The President emphasised the need to increase economic and commercial cooperation, particularly in the IT and agriculture sectors, adding that Chinese investors should benefit from Pakistan’s business and investment friendly policies.
The President expressed concern over the planned holding of G-20 Summit events by India in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and termed it an attempt on the part of India to divert the world’s attention away from the ground realities and its atrocities against the people of IIOJK. He said that Pakistan supported China on all its core issues, including the “One-China policy”, Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea. He also appreciated the support provided by China during last year’s unprecedented floods in Pakistan and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, Mr Qin Gang, said that China and Pakistan were all-weather friends and the friendship between the two countries was “as solid as a rock”. He stated that in view of the fast-changing world, Pakistan and China needed to further fortify and strengthen bilateral cooperation to meet the emerging regional and international challenges. He called for advancing cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, especially on projects of strategic importance.
Mr Qin Gang stated that China was cognizant of Pakistan’s economic difficulties, saying that it was the priority of his country to help Pakistan. He said that China would welcome Pakistani students to study in Chinese educational institutions. He also thanked the President of Pakistan for visiting China in March 2020 to show solidarity with the people and government of China during the COVID-19 pandemic.