Pakistan, China vow to deepen CPEC development, build ‘closer community’

— India’s relentless pursuit of military preponderance would derail fragile peace, warns PM 

— Welcomes Chinese investment under CPEC, relocation of businesses to Pakistan

BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping Sunday agreed to deepen development under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and work to accelerate the building of a “closer community with a shared future in the new era”.

In a much-anticipated meeting held here at the Great Hall of the People, Jinping and Khan reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest “in a warm and cordial atmosphere”.

This was the first meeting between Khan and Jinping since the prime minister’s visit to China in October 2019 just before the coronavirus outbreak there.

Jinping told Khan that China is willing to work with Pakistan to accelerate the building of a closer community with a shared future in the new era.

Khan expressed concerns over growing polarisation in the world which threatened to unravel global developmental gains and posed serious risks to the developing economies.

Jinping said the shared future would “bring benefits to the people of the two countries, provide an impetus for regional cooperation and contribute to world peace”.

The prime minister underscored that China was Pakistan’s steadfast partner, a staunch supporter and an “iron brother”.

The all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations withstood the test of times and the two countries firmly stood side by side in realising their visions and shared aspirations of peace, stability, development and prosperity, he added.

Khan briefed Jinping on a people-centred geo-economics vision and his government’s policies for sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernisation, and regional connectivity.

He lauded Beijing’s continued support and assistance to Pakistan’s socio-economic development which greatly benefitted from the high-quality development of the CPEC.

He also welcomed further Chinese investments in the second phase of the CPEC which centred on industrialisation and improving people’s livelihoods.

He highlighted that insurmountable challenges like climate change, health crises and growing inequalities could only be tackled through the unqualified cooperation of all nations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

In this regard, Khan lauded Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Global Development Initiatives (GDI) which called for collective action for sustainable development and win-win outcomes.

The prime minister highlighted the atrocities being perpetrated in the occupied Kashmir and the persecution of minorities in India in advancing the radical Hindutva idealogy of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a threat to regional peace and stability.

He said that the rapid militarisation of India was also undermining regional stability.

The prime minister highlighted that partnership between Pakistan and China was an anchor for peace and stability in the region and thanked China for its unwavering support to Islamabad’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national development.

He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to China on all issues of her interest.

Both leaders acknowledged that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would promote economic development and connectivity in the region and called on the international community to promptly assist the Afghan people in averting a humanitarian catastrophe.

They also appreciated the signing of a number of agreements covering industrial cooperation, space cooperation, and vaccine cooperation.

Prime Minister Khan congratulated the leadership and people of China on the successful hosting of the Winter Games in Beijing and extended his best wishes on the Chinese New Year.

He also renewed his invitation to President Jinping to undertake a visit to Pakistan at his early convenience.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry. Following the meeting, which was held on the last day of the visit, Khan left for Pakistan, he said.

Khan arrived in Beijing on Thursday for the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Games to show “solidarity” with China after the event was boycotted by some Western nations.

Amid geopolitical tensions, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia announced a diplomatic boycott of the event, citing alleged violations of human rights in China.

Their athletes are still participating in the games, but no government official is present.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]
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