BEIJING - Pakistan and China on Saturday signed 15 various agreements and documents to further deepen the bilateral cooperation in multiple spheres, including economy, agriculture, law enforcement and technology, but there was no announcement of any relief package.

The documents were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China at a ceremony held at Great Hall of China where the prime ministers of the two countries also held bilateral meeting.

The documents signed encompassed the fields of economy, science and technology, agriculture, poverty reduction, innovation and drug trafficking besides establishing joint research centre on earth sciences and working group on social and livelihood affairs.

After the talks between the two prime ministers, a senior Chinese diplomat told reporters that China will provide Pakistan with economic aid but more talks will take place to fix the details.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said his country would help. “During the visit, the two sides have made it clear in principle that the Chinese government will provide necessary support and assistance to Pakistan in tiding over the current economic difficulties,” Kong said.

“As for specific measures to be taken, the relevant authorities of the two sides will have detailed discussions,” he added, without giving details.

The ceremony for signing of agreements was witnessed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as the ministers and officials concerned from both sides signed the documents.

From Pakistan side, the documents were signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid.

Both the countries signed an agreement to enhance agriculture and technical cooperation, cooperation between Islamabad Police and Beijing Police, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and Science Academy of China and between Pakistan Meteorological Department and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The two countries signed MoUs for cooperation on forests, earth sciences and poverty alleviation.

The two sides also signed letters on foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue mechanism to make overall planning and coordinate cooperation in various fields.

Later, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou while briefing media said the two sides had agreed to firmly move forward the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while ensuring the smooth operation of completed projects and advancing the ongoing projects.

“The two sides will gradually brand dimensions of industrial cooperation to the CPEC, and extend it to other parts of Pakistan so that it will drive all round development of China-Pakistan economic cooperation,” he added.

Ruling out any change in the number of projects under the CPEC, he said that there had been no change in the number of projects under this framework, adding “If there will be any change, it will be increase in number of projects and going forward.”

The Vice FM said that the two countries had decided to establish working group on social and livelihood affairs under the CPEC joint cooperation committee. He said the two sides would also engage in close cooperation in extensive areas covering economy, trade, science and technology, cultural affairs, education and youth affairs.

Kong remarked that the two countries would also strengthen their communication and coordination on regional and global affairs in addition in response to current economic and fiscal difficulties Pakistan faces at the moment, adding, “China will provide help and assistance within the realm of its capability.”

He said during the meeting, the two sides had made it clear in principle that China government would provide necessary support and assistance to Pakistan in tiding over the current economic difficulties as to the specific measures to be taken, the competent authorities of the two countries would have detailed discussions.

The Vice FM said he believed all these activities and number of agreements signed today fully showed that this had been a smooth and a successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China.

In the meetings and talks, the Chinese side expressed congratulation for successful holding of general elections in Pakistan as well as smooth transfer of power. China believed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government, the Pakistani people would make new achievements in its path of national development, he added.

He said that as Pakistan’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner, China has always viewed its relations with Pakistan from its strategic and long-term perspective.

“China will continue to put its relations with Pakistan on priority place and on China’s diplomatic agenda and we will continue to do what we can to provide help to Pakistan for its economic and social development,” he added.

He said that Pakistani side reiterated that Pakistan’s relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan foreign policy and Pakistan remained committed to the friendship between the two countries and committed to advancing the CPEC.

“Pakistan hopes to learn from China’s successful experience of the development so that the friendship and cooperation between our two countries will deliver greater benefits to both the countries and people and the wider region,” he added.

The Vice FM said leaders of the two countries made further plans for growth of their bilateral relations moving forward and also vowed to maintain high-level engagements, strengthen strategic communication, preserve and promote common interest.

He said Pakistan had a smooth transfer of power and entered a new stage of economic and social development under the new prime minister. He said it was fair to say that current China-Pakistan relationship was at new starting point and needed new dynamics against backdrop of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit which was highly significant.

“Both sides have attached a high importance to this visit and hope that by working together they will be able to achieve good progress and identify the goals and orientation of China-Pakistan relations in next stage,” he added.

 

STRATEGIC COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP

 

The leadership of Pakistan and China underscored their commitment for a stronger strategic cooperative partnership and explore new avenues for practical collaboration.

The understanding reached between the two countries in a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang here at Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The bilateral meeting was marked by traditional warmth, mutual understanding and trust.

Chinese Premier congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on his successful election as the prime minister and expressed his desire to work closely with him to further strengthen the “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” for shared future.

Imran thanked Premier Li for the warm hospitality and reaffirmed the message of strong strategic partnership between Pakistan and China.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the multi-faceted bilateral cooperative relations. They reiterated their resolve to continue to deepen the relationship and explore new avenues for practical collaboration.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress of CPEC, which is a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The two leaders expressed complete confidence on the importance and future development of CPEC. They expressed confidence that the process of industrial development of Pakistan would accelerate with the launch of Special Economic Zones and industrial parks.

Sharing his vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’, Imran congratulated Premier Li on successful anti-corruption drive, poverty alleviation, and modernisation of China based on innovation and IT. He said China’s phenomenal success in the last 40 years that resulted in socio-economic uplift of the people offered a great example for developing countries.

The two leaders expressed their commitment to maintain close engagement on issues of regional and global importance. They agreed that the relationship had withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in domestic, regional and global situations.

Premier Li also held a banquet in honour of the prime minister and his entourage.

Premier Li also promised to expand the imports of and market access for quality products from Pakistan, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in fields including finance, agriculture and fisheries. “We hope to see a stable and developing Pakistan. We are willing to provide assistance to Pakistan within our capability and work together to achieve regional peace, stability and prosperity,” Li said.

Li remarked China viewed Pakistan as high priority on its diplomatic agenda and said that his government would engage in close cooperation with Pakistan’s government in different areas.

The Chinese Premier also recalled his meeting with Imran Khan during his meeting with the heads of political parties during his visit to Pakistan in 2013.

During the meeting, Imran said CPEC was just an idea in 2013, but it was now on the ground and it had caught imagination of people of Pakistan. He termed the CPEC framework a great opportunity for both countries to progress and attract the investment, adding “The CPEC will give us opportunity to raise standard of living and economic growth rate.”