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China, Pakistan agree to strengthen ties, accelerate CPEC

China, Pakistan agree to strengthen ties, accelerate CPEC

BEIJING: The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Pakistan and China agreed to strengthen bilateral ties in all fields, adding that Beijing will continue its support to Islamabad and both countries have agreed to accelerate China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Pakistan was mainly aimed to renew the traditional friendship, promote mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas and elevate the China-Pakistan, all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to a new high.

Geng mentioned that Wang Yi reached an important consensus with the Pakistani side on accelerating the construction of the CPEC and the achievements made by both sides in promoting the plan are obvious to all.

“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. The relationship between the two sides is different from that of the parties and the regime changes” Geng added.

He said that Pakistan successfully completed the election process and the new-elected government took office. He emphasised that the Sino-Pakistani friendship was time-tested and rooted in the hearts of the two nations. The developing relationship between China and Pakistan is not directed at third parties and will not be affected by their respective developments in relations with other countries.

“China will support the Pakistani side to continue to firmly fight against terrorism in accordance with its national interest,” Geng remarked.

He further said that during the visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Pakistani President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistani National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on comprehensively deepening China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and international and regional issues of common concern and reached consensus.

“China is willing to work with the new elected Pakistani government to make China-Pakistan relations a model of good-neighbourhood and friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability, and a benchmark for building the Belt and Road Initiatives.”

He also mentioned that two sides agreed to further deepen strategic mutual trust, strengthen strategic cooperation, and more firmly support each other’s core and major interests, and communicate and coordinate more closely on major issues of common concern, while economically, the two sides will focus on people’s livelihood and strengthen development cooperation.

“China will encourage its aid to Pakistan in the areas of agriculture, education, healthcare, drinking water and other areas of people’s livelihood so that more people can receive tangible benefits” he commented.

He said that the two sides will jointly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. At the same time, according to the next economic and social development priorities of Pakistan and the needs of the people, the future development path and cooperation direction of the corridor will be determined through consultation. Focus on accelerating industrial cooperation and construction of people’s livelihood projects, and gradually extending to the region, so that more Pakistani people can benefit from the corridor.

Geng told that in terms of safety, the two sides decided to strengthen defence and security cooperation.

“We will promote exchanges between the military and law enforcement agencies of the two countries and resolutely crack down on the terrorist forces like “East Turkmenistan Movement” he added.