ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China yesterday held bilateral discussions pledging to enhance cooperation further.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held the second round of bilateral political consultations with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui via video-link.

During the consultations, a wide range of issues were discussed including Pakistan-China bilateral ties, regional security situation, deepening co-operation in wake of COVID-19, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and further solidifying bilateral economic cooperation, said a foreign ministry statement.

The Foreign Secretary emphasized that Pakistan and China were ‘all-weather strategic co-operative partners’ and were committed to promote peace, development, and stability in the region based on the principles of respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, win-win cooperation and shared development, said a foreign ministry statement.

The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed that Pakistan remained firmly committed to the ‘One-China policy’ and fully supported China on its issues of core national interest including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. Supporting ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Pakistan reiterated that affairs of Hong Kong were China’s internal matter.

He underscored that Pakistan was grateful to the government and people of China for extending solidarity and material support in the wake of spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan. He lauded China’s efforts in controlling and containing COVID-19 through rigorous and timely measures.

He briefed that fatality rate and new cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan were declining due to the government’s policy of smart lockdown and implementation of SOPs.

It was underlined that Pakistan was taking requisite steps to start trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan with China’s co-operation and expertise and hoped that vaccine will be soon made available as a “global public good.”

Both the sides reaffirmed their resolve to take relevant measures to support economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 and to deepen bilateral co-operation in the health sector. The Foreign Secretary emphasized that CPEC, a flagship project of BRI, was a transformational project contributing positively to national development and regional growth. CPEC had entered second phase and mega projects such as Azad Pattan and Kohala Energy projects would play a major role in deepening economic and commercial ties between Pakistan and China and solidify Pakistan’s economic development.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood underscored that regional security situation was perilous and underlined that India’s belligerent posture and aggressive actions were imperilling peace in the region.

Apart from committing egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India was seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, which was in violation of international law including the 4th Geneva Convention.