At the invitation of H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, paid his first official visit to China on November 2-5, 2018. During his visit, H.E. Imran Khan called on H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China, held talks with H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier, and met with H.E. Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and H.E. Wang Qishan, Vice President of China respectively. Meetings were marked by traditional warmth, mutual understanding and trust, and the leaders of the two countries had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. Prime Minister Imran Khan also delivered speech at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Besides Beijing, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Shanghai to attend the First China International Import Expo.
1. Political Relations and Strategic Communication
Both sides stressed that China and Pakistan are good neighbors, close friends, iron brothers and trusted partners. The friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and contribute to peace, stability and development in the region and beyond. Both sides will continue to view China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.
2. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
Prime Minister Imran Khan commended President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims at enhancing regional and international connectivity. The two sides reiterated that BRI represents a win-win model of international cooperation and provides new opportunities for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of all countries. As a signature project of BRI, the fast development of CPEC has played a significant role in the Belt and Road cooperation.
Both sides reviewed the early harvest phase of CPEC and expressed satisfaction that rapid progress has been made in all areas especially in the energy sector. The two sides reaffirmed their complete consensus on the future trajectory of the CPEC, timely completion of its on-going projectsand joint efforts for realization of its full potential with a focus on socio-economic development, job creation and livelihoods and accelerating cooperation in industrial development, industrial parks and agriculture.
3. Trade, Investment and Financial Cooperation
The two sides agreed to further consolidate and expand bilateral economic relations as a matter of high priority and to strengthen multi-faceted pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment. They agreed to boost Pakistan’s industrial capacity including through joint ventures in priority areas, relocation of labor-intensive industry and SMEs collaboration.
The two sides noted the growing volume of bilateral trade and agreed to take concrete measures to address trade imbalance. These would includeexchange of trade missions, broadening market access for agricultural and ICT products, and simplifying customs, quarantine and phytosanitary procedures. In this context, the two sides agreed to conclude the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement as early as possible, and continue discussions on the Pakistan-China Agreement on Trade in Services.
4. Marine, Science and Technology, Space, Environmental and Agricultural Cooperation
Both sides agreed to further strengthen policy dialogue and strategic communication on maritime issues and expressed satisfaction on the Pakistan-China Maritime Cooperation Dialogue. They agreed to continue their close cooperation on navigation security, marine economy, exploration and utilization of marine resources, marine scientific research and marine environmental protection.
Both sides agreed to further expand and deepen their collaboration including in the areas of new and emerging technologies, nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT, which can contribute to improved living standards through their applications in the fields of health, agriculture, water, energy and food security.
5. Social Sector Cooperation
Pakistan expressed a desire to learn from the Chinese poverty alleviation model, which has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty over the last forty years. China is willing to strengthen policy dialogue, experience sharing and capacity building in the field of poverty reduction with Pakistan, and support Pakistan to establish poverty alleviation demonstration projects. The Chinese assistance will also be directed towards agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation, safe drinking water, and vocational training.
6.People-to-People and Cultural Linkages
Both sides reiterated the importance of people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges and agreed to encourage mutual visits of nationals of the two countries. Both sides agreed to improve visa facilitation for mutual visits.
Both sides decided to celebrate Pakistan-China Year of Friendship/Sister Cities in 2019 and to establish friendship city relationships between corresponding Chinese and Pakistani cities and provinces. It was agreed to enhance exchanges and dialogue between leaders at provincial and local levels. The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation between neighboring regions of the two countries, particularly in the areas of economy, trade, transportation, energy, industry, tourism, education, people-to-people contacts and livelihoods.
7. Defence, Security and Counter-terrorism Cooperation
Both sides agreed to further enhance defence cooperation, maintain high-level visits and exchanges at various levels between relevant departments of the two armed forces, make full use of the China-Pakistan Defence and Security Consultation mechanism, deepen cooperation in areas such as military exercises, training cooperation, personnel exchanges, and equipment and technology cooperation.
8. International and Regional Issues
Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promoting international peace and security, and safeguarding the contemporary world order and the UN-centric international system. They agreed to jointly promote multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation. The two sides support a consensus-based reform of the United Nations so that it responds to the interests and concerns of all Member States. Being major contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Operations over the years, the two sides agreed to enhance policy coordination, capacity building and sharing of good practices on peacekeeping.
Both sides agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues of common interest; and maintain close communication and coordination within international and regional organizations and mechanisms such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), SAARC, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). China welcomed Pakistan’s membership of SCO and appreciated its active participation in the SCO Summit in Qingdao in June 2018.
During the visit, the two sides also signed fifteen(15) Agreements/MoUs on a range of bilateral issues.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his appreciation to the leadership and people of China for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation and invited Chinese leaders to visit Pakistan at a mutually convenient time.