ISLAMABAD  -   Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing Thursday met Prime Minister Imran Khan and said the next stage of China Pakistan Economic Corridor would focus on investing and buying more from Pakistan.

The ambassador updated the prime minister on the CPEC projects and said Pakistan and China were the closest friends and partners, a PM Office’s statement said.

He also reaffirmed his government’s resolve to work closely with Pakistan to further strengthen the bilateral relations.

Later, talking to media, the ambassador termed his meeting with the prime minister “very successful”.

He said he had conveyed to Premier Khan that the Chinese leadership, government and the business community were encouraged by the vision, agenda and priorities set by him and his government like the ease of doing business, Clean and Green Pakistan and opening up of Pakistan’s economy to the world.

He also lauded the government’s policies for inviting direct and indirect investment to the country besides enhancing its exports.

The ambassador said he had assured the prime minister that China would continue to be a strong partner of future development of Pakistan. “We have every confidence that with the leadership of new government, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan will achieve its destination of prosperity and development,” he remarked.

During the meeting, the prime minister said Pakistan and China were close friends and strong partners.

Praising the vision of President Xi Jinping for socio-economic development of China, he said Pakistan could learn much from the Chinese experience for the social uplift of the people of Pakistan.

The prime minister viewed that CPEC had added a new dimension to bilateral ties and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to its timely completion.

He expressed satisfaction over the significant progress made on the CPEC projects.

The prime minister also underscored his priorities for transfer of technology and capacity building in agricultural sector, which would have direct impact on poverty alleviation in rural areas.

NEW STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ERA

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Thursday said Pakistan and China have entered into a new era of strategic partnership which would go a long way in economic and social development of the region.

He expressed these views while talking to Gao Yunlong, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) here at Parliament House.

The Vice Chairman of CPPCC is heading a delegation on a four-day visit to Pakistan. During the visit, the Vice Chairman of CPPCC would also meet the President of Pakistan and other dignitaries in Islamabad. 

Sanjrani said Pakistan was proud of its unprecedented friendship with China and the recent visit of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to China has added a new chapter in the bilateral relations of both the countries. He appreciated the momentum in exchange of parliamentary delegations and said that parliamentary diplomacy could better develop understanding on issues of mutual concern.

He said that the Upper House of the Parliament has established a Parliamentary Friendship Group which can play a crucial role in cementing the existing ties. Chairman Senate said that there was a need to further boost cooperation among the secretariats of the parliaments in both the countries to steer the cooperation in different areas of mutual interest. He said that the business delegations should also exchange visits for enhancing the economic ties and improving the balance of trade between the two countries. He said that CPEC was a flagship game changer project and they were committed for its early completion to benefit from its potential for regional development. He said that the ongoing mega projects under the CPEC including an international airport, hospitals and professional training institutes needed to be completed at the earliest.

Sadiq Sanjrani apprised the Vice Chairman of CPPCC that a successful Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) meeting in Gwadar has paved the way for increased interest of the international investors in the region.  He said that APA platform needed to be further strengthened and Pakistan would seek Chinese support for this purpose. Chairman Senate said that the mutual ties between the two countries called for further momentum in people to people contacts to strengthen the existing economic and parliamentary linkages.

The Vice Chairman of CPPCC conveyed special greetings of the Chairman CPPCC to Chairman Senate and thanked for fruitful discussion during his visit of China. He said that China attached utmost importance to its ties with Pakistan as both the countries shared a common vision and agenda for regional development. He said that the purpose of this visit was to further enhance the parliamentary relations between the two countries which would be instrumental for steering the political and economic ties.  He said that both the countries shared a common stance on most of the international issues and China looks forward for further cooperation in this regard.  The visiting dignitary invited Senate Chairman to visit China.  Chairman Senate informed the Vice Chairman that a high level parliamentary delegation of Senate would soon visit China to move ahead on parliamentary ties.

Separately, Vice Chairman of CPPCC along with his delegation met with the group of senators headed by Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz. “Pakistan and China are all weather strategic cooperative partners and both have a shared vision for regional growth and prosperity,” said Senator Faraz. He said Pakistan would continue to adhere to One China Policy and supported China on all core issues. He further said Prime Minister Imran Khan also appreciated China’s contribution towards regional development and his visit to China last year further reaffirmed their traditional friendship. He expressed his satisfaction that intern-parliamentary linkages had increased and there was need to bring the people of two sides closer to push forward development agenda.

Leader of the House emphasized the need to enhance and strengthen institutional linkages between the two parliaments and said that the friendship groups could play active role in cementing ties.

On bilateral friendship, Senator Shibli said that Pakistan’s political parties used to speak with one voice for deepening ties with China. He said that Pakistan attached great importance to CPEC and was committed to it early completion. He stressed that Pakistan was trying to expand cooperation under CPEC on socio-economic development, agriculture cooperation, industrial capacity, job creation, poverty alleviation, trade and commerce besides broadening special economic zones base.

Leader of the Chinese delegation said that China valued its ties with Pakistan and it was one of the shining examples of close neighbourly ties. He said that China would further encourage Chinese investment in Pakistan.