ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China yesterday pledged to stand united in good and bad times as the top leaders held meetings to strengthen the partnership.

A joint statement issued here after President Arif Alvi’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing, said China and Pakistan had underlined that Covid-19 was a common challenge for humanity and all countries should unite and cooperate to overcome this challenge together.

“President Dr. Arif Alvi also appreciated China’s keen resolve to look after Pakistan’s nationals during this difficult time. President Xi Jinping thanked President Alvi for visiting China at a critical time and expressed profound gratitude for Pakistan’s gesture of support and solidarity,” said the statement.

It added:“President Dr. Alvi praised the relentless efforts undertaken by China for containing and controlling the virus. The Chinese side reiterated solidarity with Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty, independence and security.”

The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns, position, and current urgent issues. China said it opposed any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.

Pakistan underscored that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a transformational project. “Both sides stressed that the economic and social impact of CPEC on the region will be substantial and beneficial and hoped that the international community will support such efforts that underpin economic development,” the statement said.

China recognized measures taken by Pakistan to combat terrorism financing and appreciated the resolve with which Pakistan implemented the Action Plan of the Financial Action Task Force.

“Both Pakistan and China welcomed the signing of the peace agreement between the US and Taliban,” said the statement.

The two allies hoped that the intra-Afghan negotiations would be the next logical step. The two sides agreed that all Afghan parties must seize this historic opportunity and work together constructively to secure durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

 

 

“The two sides further emphasized the need for the international community to help establish peace as well as extend support for post-conflict reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan,” said the joint statement.

 

 

Pakistan underscored the need to assist the Afghan government in creating an enabling environment and instituting ‘pull factors’ to enable the Afghan refugees to return to their homeland with dignity and honour.

 

 

“Both the sides maintained that they will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with its neighbors,” the statement said.

 

 

 

Alvi visited China on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping from March 16-17. The President was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, and senior officials.

 

 

During the visit, President Alvi met President Jinping. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman National People’s Congress, Li Zhanshu, also met President Alvi.

 

 

Given the depth and breadth of Pakistan-China ties and the finest traditions of both countries to always stand by each other particularly in challenging times, President Alvi’s first visit to Beijing was a singular expression of Pakistan’s solidarity with its “iron brother,” the foreign ministry said.

 

 

The visit was undertaken at a time while China was engaged in a massive national struggle to contain the Covid-19.

 

 

President Alvi praised the relentless efforts undertaken by China for containing and controlling the virus, and was confident that the Chinese people under the leadership of President Xi Jinping will emerge stronger and victorious in the aftermath of Covid-19.

 

 

The Chinese leadership had assured that it was taking the best possible measures to ensure the safety, health and well-being of Pakistani nationals, including the students.

 

 

The Chinese leadership stressed that since the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese Communist Party and government had given top priority to people’s life and health.

 

 

On the basis of nation-wide mobilization, China adopted the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures in little time to contain the virus. Chinese side emphasized that China has made major progress in prevention and control of the virus and will win the “People’s War” against Covid-19.

 

 

President Alvi spoke highly of China’s major progress in battling the epidemic, and acknowledged that China’s efforts have won time and set a model for the rest of the world to combat the epidemic, and have made contribution to safeguarding global public health security.

 

 

The leaders of the two countries exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. The exchange was marked by the exceptional warmth, convergence of views, and strategic trust that characterize the China-Pakistan “All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership,” the foreign ministry said.

 

 

Stressing that the close and strategic ties, and deep-rooted friendship between Pakistan and China served the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and contributed to peace, stability and development in the region, the two sides underscored that the enduring partnership between Pakistan and China remains unaffected by the vicissitudes of the regional and international developments and continues to move from strength to strength.

 

 

The two sides reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen China-Pakistan All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership aimed at building a “Community of Shared Future in the New Era.”

 

 

Both sides reaffirmed their support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests. The Chinese side reiterated solidarity with Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty, independence and security. The Pakistan side reaffirmed its commitment to the One-China Policy and underscored that affairs related to Hong Kong and Taiwan were China’s internal affairs. The Pakistan side underlined that due to the developmental measures undertaken by Government of China, Xinjiang was on the path to overall social stability and economic development.

 

 

President Alvi said Pakistan had established a CPEC Authority to oversee the expeditious implementation of CPEC projects. “Both the sides maintained that the new phase of high-quality development of CPEC will promote industrialization and socio-economic development in Pakistan. Both sides hoped that the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting of CPEC, to be held soon, will further contribute to making CPEC a High-Quality Demonstration Project of BRI,” said the joint statement.

Both the sides stressed that the economic and social impact of CPEC on the region will be substantial and beneficial and hoped that the international community will support such efforts that underpin economic development, it said.

They expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation at multilateral forums and resolved to deepen strategic coordination, consultation and communication. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism and win-win cooperation.

Pakistan and China exchanged views on the situation in Kashmir. The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments, including its concerns, position, and current urgent issues.

The Chinese side underscored that it was paying close attention to the current situation and reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.

During the visit President Alvi and President Jinping witnessed signing of various Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding. Both the sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and mutual contacts.