CPEC, economic linkages deepen abiding Pak-China friendship: PM
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the growing economic linkages had deepened the roots of the abiding friendship between the peoples of Pakistan and China.
“Atop this unshakeable foundation, the Pakistan-China partnership would continue to play its valuable role as a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the prime minister said during a meeting with Yang Jiechi, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of its Foreign Affairs Commission, who called on him.
Earlier, Yang Jiechi also called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ here.
The prime minister said that Pakistan stood ready to work closely with China for realizing both countries’ shared vision of connectivity, prosperity and public well-being. Pakistan would also continue to support Chinese investors with competitive incentives, access to high-quality infrastructure and unwavering security arrangements, he added.
Director Yang Jiechi is accompanied by Vice Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Commerce, Vice Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
The prime minister underscored the significance of Director Yang’s visit for accelerating the implementation of the leaders’ consensus on further enhancing bilateral relations across all domains. He highlighted that economic cooperation had become a mainstay of the wide-ranging Pakistan-China partnership.
He expressed satisfaction at the growing bilateral trade and financial linkages, with China’s unstinting support playing an invaluable role in helping Pakistan offset external shocks to the global economy and demonstrating the continued resilience of Pakistan-China cooperation at a time of heightened uncertainty on the world stage.
The prime minister particularly thanked China for renewal of the RMB 15 billion($2.3 billion) syndicate facility.
n Shehbaz says Pakistan to continue supporting Chinese investments
at all stages n Appreciates Beijing for renewal of $2.3b syndicate
facility n Yang Jiechi thanks Pakistan for providing special
security to Chinese working on projects in Pakistan
Pakistan desires to enhance strategic partnership with China: Gen Bajwa
The prime minister also thanked China for its support and assistance to Pakistan’s efforts towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by providing millions of vaccine doses as well as protective and medical equipment.
He underlined that as a flagship of the visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC had transformed Pakistan’s economic base and strengthened capacity for self-development.
He reaffirmed the government’s resolve to accelerate the pace and complete CPEC projects at the earliest.
The prime minister also underscored the high importance Pakistan attached to the strategic ML-I and other key projects including Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Babusar Tunnel, and desalinization plant in Karachi.
The prime minister reiterated his strong condemnation of the Karachi terrorist attack and underscored Pakistan’s determination to bring the perpetrators to justice.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to enhanced measures for safety, security and protection of the Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in the country.
Recalling the recent visit of tri-services delegation to China led by the Chief of Army Staff, he expressed satisfaction at the expanding defence and security cooperation between Pakistan and China which was contributing to the regional peace and stability.
While emphasizing the need for enhanced people-to-people contacts, he thanked China for facilitating return of Pakistani students to resume their on-campus studies, and expressed hope that the remaining students would be able to return soon.
The prime minister also appreciated Chinese decision for the resumption of PIA flights to China and increasing the frequency of weekly flights.
Exchanging views on international issues of mutual interest, he also highlighted the adverse impact of India’s unabated repression and gross violations of human rights in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The prime minister thanked China for its principled stance and steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The prime minister and director Yang also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan including the humanitarian and economic crises.
The need for international cooperation and unfreezing of assets to avert humanitarian catastrophe and ease the misery of the Afghan people was underscored.
Extending a warm welcome to Director Yang, the prime minister extended most cordial greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The prime minister noted that director Yang’s visit marked the continuation of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China, which were the hallmark of the time-tested all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.
He also recalled his extensive conversation with Premier Li Keqiang in May 2022, during which both leaders had reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and exchanged views on the regional and international situation.
Earlier, in his meeting with Yang Jiechi, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperate with its international partners for peace and stability in the region.
According to the ISPR, during the meeting, matters of mutual interest, defence collaboration, progress on CPEC and regional security were discussed in detail.
The Army Chief said that Pakistan values China’s role in global and regional affairs and “we look forward to enhance our strategic partnership with China.”
The visiting dignitary thanked the COAS for special measures taken for provision of safe and secure environment for Chinese personnel employed on various projects in Pakistan and efforts towards regional stability. He also assured to play his role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.
According to the Foreign Office, Yang Jiechi is in Pakistan on a two-day visit to meet leadership and discuss bilateral ties.
He will also hold talks with the foreign minister and call on the prime minister, it said in a statement.
Director Yang Jiechi is accompanied by Vice Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Commerce, Vice Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), and Deputy Secretary-General of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
As Director of the Central Commission on Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi has a prominent role in China’s foreign relations. He has previously served as China’s Foreign Minister from 2007-13 and State Councilor from 2013-17.
The visit is part of the regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China.
Pakistan yesterday rejected Indian media reports which linked a Pakistani organisation to a murder in India.
In response to reports appearing in a segment of the Indian media regarding investigations into a murder case in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, the FO Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said: “We have seen reports in a segment of the Indian media, referring to investigations into the murder case in Udaipur, mischievously seeking to link the accused individuals, Indian nationals, to an organisation in Pakistan.”
He added that we categorically reject any such insinuations, which are typical of the BJP-RSS ‘Hindutva’ driven Indian regime’s attempts at maligning Pakistan including by externalising their internal issues through pointing of fingers towards Pakistan. Such malicious attempts will not succeed in misleading the people, either in India or abroad, he added.