Islamabad | Pakistan’s all-weather ally China on Wednesday hailed Islamabad’s constructive role on international and regional issues and asked the international community to view its efforts and contributions in fight against terrorism in an objective manner, Foreign Office said.
It said that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Queshi, who arrived in Beijing after a three-day tour of Japan, met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and discussed bilateral ties and agreed to build a closer ties.
Qureshi arrived in Beijing ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the Chinese capital to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF).
China will hold the BRF from Thursday to showcase its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) without India’s presence for the second consecutive time, while 37 heads of the state and government, including from Pakistan, would attend the three-day grand event.
The BRI was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013. It aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of Xi’s ambitious BRI.
India has been boycotting the BRI to protest over the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“Both sides stressed that they regard developing China-Pakistan relations as a diplomatic priority, and are committed to strengthening all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and building a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era,” said the FO in a statement.
It said that the Chinese side reiterated its steadfast support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national dignity, choosing its development path according to its national conditions, and establishing a better security environment.
The Chinese side appreciated Pakistan’s constructive role on international and regional issues, the FO said, adding both sides agreed to further strengthen their coordination and cooperation on international and regional matters, and to keep close communication and collaboration in multilateral forums including the UN, multilateral financial institutions, the SCO and the SAARC.
China and Pakistan believe that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties, and emphasized the importance of dialogue in resolving all disputes and issues in this region on the basis of mutual respect and equality, the statement said.
The Chinese side appreciated efforts made by Pakistan in firmly combating terrorism and extremism, and supported Islamabad in implementing its National Action Plan and important measures taken recently in this regard, it said.
China also called on international community to view Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and contributions in an objective and fair manner, and to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with the country.
The two sides underlined that China-Pakistan relationship was a factor of stability in the regional and international situation and reaffirmed their resolve to continue to strengthen it in all areas, the FO said.
Khan will visit China from April 25 to 28 and meet its top Chinese leadership. This would be Khan’s second visit to China since taking office in August last year.