ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Saturday resolved to further strengthen bilateral and strategic ties by enhancing cooperation in diverse fields to help the former strengthen its economy, eradicate poverty, and create job opportunities.
The resolve was reached during delegation-level talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is in Islamabad on a three-day visit and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
“Both the sides resolved to further strengthen strategic partnership between Pakistan and China,” Qureshi said addressing a press conference alongside his Chinese counterpart after the talks at the Foreign Office.
He said the visiting dignitary extended an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan for an official visit to China in November this year.
Qureshi said he too extended an invitation to the Chinese president and premier to visit Pakistan.
He said the two sides had an in-depth discussion on various bilateral issues. “We have had positive talks over socio-economic growth and eradicating corruption as collective goals.”
China is Pakistan’s all weather friend and Pakistan relied on China’s support at various international forums, he added.
“We need a substantive progress on CPEC which is of immense strategic importance for Pakistan. The implementation of CPEC projects is a top priority of the government,” the FM said.
“We will ensure that all projects under CPEC are implemented and new avenues of bilateral cooperation are explored.”
“CPEC is a game-changer for the region and of immense significance for Pakistan’s economic growth.”
He said: “I discussed with the State Councilor the priorities of our government, including poverty alleviation and economic stability.”
“I assured the security of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan on various projects is the government’s top priority. The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are working hard to ensure a safe working environment for them.”
“I have urged the foreign minister that Pakistan and China need to work together for trade cooperation as together we can bring about great economic potential and bilateral trade opportunities,” said Qureshi.
He said Pakistan has paid a huge price in combating terrorism, adding State Councilor Yi acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices and urged the global community to acknowledge them as well.
The Chinese FM said China will extend full cooperation to Pakistan for strengthening its economy, creation of job opportunities and alleviation of poverty.
He said the two sides discussed bilateral trade relations, alleviation of poverty, creation of employment opportunities, as well as international issues during today’s meeting. “Ties between the two countries are based on mutual cooperation and partnership,” he stressed.
Mr Yi said China gives great importance to Pakistan in its foreign policy and expressed a resolve to further strengthen the ties.
He acknowledged Pakistan’s role in uprooting terrorism and added elimination of the menace of terrorism the world over is also their top priority.
The Chinese FM said that CPEC projects are most transparent and if need be, the third party can also be called to verify the same as the projects has followed scientific procedures as per transparency.