ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday assured Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong that all the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects would be completed at a fast pace.

In a meeting here with the new Chinese envoy, the FM said that steps were afoot to ensure fast track implementation of the second phase of CPEC related projects. “Both Pakistan and China have always supported each other in difficult times. We are thankful to China for extending timely assistance to Pakistan to cope with coronavirus,” he said.

Qureshi said that the entire world knew the exemplary and everlasting friendship that existed between Pakistan and China. Lauding the Ambassador’s experience and strong credentials, the Foreign Minister congratulated the Ambassador on his appointment to Pakistan and hoped that the Pakistan-China ties will further deepen and strengthen during his term.

During the meeting, the Pakistan-China bilateral relations, cooperation in fighting COVID-19, CPEC, and matters of regional and international interest were discussed, said a foreign ministry statement. The foreign minister underlined that Pakistan and China were ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partners’ and both the countries supported each other on the issues of their core interest.  The Foreign Minister thanked China for its steadfast support to Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, including at the United Nations.

The Foreign Minister maintained that CPEC was a transformational project and hoped that the Ambassador, with his experience in trade and infrastructure development, will fast track CPEC projects and promote industrialization in Pakistan. He also stressed the need to speed up completion of CPEC projects at Gwadar enabling the Gwadar Port to achieve its potential.  Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasized that Pakistan and China should deepen and expand co-operation in the agriculture sector, providing opportunities for Pakistan to export its agricultural products to Chinese market. The Foreign Minister hoped that the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee will be fruitful and mutually beneficial and would lead to inclusion of mega projects in CPEC. 

He emphasized the importance Pakistan attached to the ML-1 project. It was particularly underscored by the Foreign Minister that the leadership and people of Pakistan were looking forward to welcoming President Xi Jinping and that the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations must be celebrated in a befitting manner. Ambassador Nong Rong thanked the Foreign Minister for the good wishes conveyed by him and maintained that Pakistan was his second home.  He emphasized that Pakistan-China relationship was anchor for peace, security and development in the region.  He expressed determination that China would firmly support timely completion of CPEC making it a High-Quality Demonstration Project of the Belt and Road Initiative.

He stressed that Pakistan and China should further deepen cooperation at the multilateral institutions to protect and promote their common interests.