Visit to China

The two-day official visit of Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif to China was quite historic, productive and result-oriented despite its short duration. It reflected the warmth, strength and depth of relations between the two iron brothers.
During his visit the PM went sat through a series of meetings with the President of China, Xi Jinping, Premier of the State Council, Li Keqiang, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’ Congress.
These meetings reaffirmed that our close strategic ties and profound friendship with China is resilient and has been serving the interests of both countries for some time. Both sides also reiterated that their bilateral relations will always be given the highest priority. The PM told the Chinese leaders that our relationship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and that the people of Pakistan will always be supportive.
The PM congratulated President Xi Jinping on his re-election as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and admired his leadership, wisdom and people-oriented philosophy of development. He also commended him on his contributions towards Pakistan-China relations and invited him to visit Pakistan.
The PM also apprised the top Chinese leadership on the ways it is dealing with the atrocities and brutalities bring committed by the Indian security forces in India’s Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute that should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
In regards to Afghanistan, the two sides agreed that a peaceful, prosperous, interconnected and stable Afghanistan was fundamental to the region’s prosperity and progress. They also expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the three Foreign Ministers’ meetings of the six neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and looked forward to the next meeting that is going to be held in Uzbekistan. They also highlighted the dire for the international community to continue providing assistance and support to Afghanistan through releasing its financial assets.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also quite expectedly figured prominently during the visiting PM’s meetings with the Chinese leadership. Both sides reaffirming their commitment to the high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and enhancing the resilience of the CPEC.
According to the information available through official sources of both countries, the Chinese and Pakistani leaders, while recognising that Main Line-1 (ML-1) is a somewhat ambitious project for upgrading and rehabilitating the rail link from Karachi to Peshawar, agreed that it is a project of key significance and vital to Pakistan’s socio-economic development. They agreed advance the process for its implementation and also agreed to actively advance the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
While duly recognising the importance and significance of the Gwadar Port in Balochistan, the leaders expressed their satisfaction over the completion of key projects and agreed to further speed up progress on other related projects of the Gwadar Port and Free Zone.
The two sides also had consensus for accelerating cooperation in the areas of agriculture, mining, Information Technology (IT), socio-economic development under CPEC, and agreed to further build on the health industry. Both sides also expressed their determination to fully counter all threats and designs against CPEC and friendship of the two countries. The PM availed the opportunity to reaffirm his government’s commitment to the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan.
The Chinese side also appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani government to develop renewable energy projects including solar projects which align with the green, low carbon and environmental development of the energy sector.
It is also worth mentioning here that top leaders also expressed their satisfaction over the close cooperation, trust and communication between the armed forces of Pakistan and China. They stated that it was an important factor that maintained peace and stability in the region and agreed to maintain high level visits, military exchanges and further deepen ongoing cooperation in areas of training, joint exercises and military technology.

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