Solely coming up to his promise made to the nation before leaving for his four day visit to China, Prime Minister Imran Khan successfully took the bilateral ties between Pakistan and China to new heights by dint of his visionary approach as he held detailed discussions with Chinese leadership on wide range of issues. In a statement before departing to Beijing, Prime Minister said that he was visiting China to take strategic partnership between Pakistan and China to new heights. China was all-weather friend and a neighboring country of Pakistan. I will have a detailed dialogue with the Chinese president on bilateral relations.
He said talks would also be held with the Chinese leadership on cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Pak-China relations were cemented in a mutual trust. Pak-China friendship has a deep imprint on people of both the countries. Bond between the two countries would not be affected by any regional or international movement.
PM Khan has come up to his commitment as Pakistan and China have signed 11 agreements in different sectors including sectors of Information Technology, agriculture, railways and chemicals. An agreement has been inked on film and TV between Pakistan and China. Many investors are ready to come to Pakistan. Most importantly an agreement had been signed on Pak-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Under the agreement Pakistan has achieved those benefits which were previously given to Asian countries. The agreement will improve exports and investment in the country.
In his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well highlighted CPEC’s next phase and it’s extension into new areas of agriculture, industrial development and socio economic uplift with livelihood projects.
While President Xi reiterated China’s unwavering support to Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and appreciated the government’s agenda for socio-economic development and people-centered progress. He affirmed that China-Pakistan ties would continue to acquire greater strength and deepen practical cooperation in the days to come.
The two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation, including in Afghanistan and South Asia. President Xi further expressed China’s appreciation for Pakistan’s sustained and successful efforts in the fight against terrorism and to create a peaceful neighbourhood. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to further deepen communication and coordination at all levels. They also agreed to keep the momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries.
Reaffirming ‘all-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ between Pakistan and China, the two leaders exchanged views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations in a warm and cordial atmosphere, according to a statement issued following the meeting. They affirmed the resolve to further strengthen their strategic cooperative partnership in all fields including political, security, economic and trade, and people-to-people exchanges.
Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked President Xi for the warm and gracious welcome accorded to him in China and for China’s steadfast support to Pakistan on all issues. He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to China on all issues of its core interest. The premier congratulated President Xi on the successful convening of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF), which is a practical manifestation of his far-reaching vision, and highlighted its significance as an important international platform for connectivity and sharing of experience among the BRI participating countries.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he highlighted CPEC’s next phase and its extension into new areas of agriculture, industrial development, and socio-economic uplift with livelihood projects. President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s unwavering support to Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and appreciated the government’s agenda for socio-economic development and people-centered progress. He affirmed that China-Pakistan ties would continue to acquire greater strength and deepen practical cooperation in the days to come.
Pakistan is China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner. China and Pakistan are ‘iron friends’ and have always firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, Xi said, adding that China takes Pakistan as a priority in its diplomacy. No matter how international and regional situations change, China firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty and national dignity, choosing its own development path suited to its national conditions, combating terrorist and extremist forces, striving for a sound external security environment, and playing a constructive role in international and regional affairs, Xi said.
Major progress has been made in bilateral cooperation in the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, finance, trade and other aspects, Xi said. In the next stage, China and Pakistan should make more efforts to advance the all-weather strategic cooperation, Xi said, calling on both sides to deepen high-level contacts and mutual support, strengthen strategic communication and promote high-quality cooperation in production capacity, infrastructure construction, people’s livelihood and trade within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has played an important role in Pakistan’s economic development and the improvement of people’s lives, Imran Khan said, believing more and more countries will support and participate in the cooperation under the BRI. Pakistan is willing to consolidate its traditional friendship with China, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and enhance communication and coordination with China in multilateral affairs, said the prime minister. The two sides also exchanged views on the situations in South Asia. Xi expressed the hope that Pakistan and India can meet each other halfway and promote the stabilization and improvement of Pakistan-India relations.
In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Imran Khan, both the countries reached an agreement on the multibillion mainline-1 project of the Pakistan Railways. Both the premiers signed the agreement following delegation level talks at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. The project envisages laying double rail track between Peshawar and Karachi, which will significantly reduce travel duration as trains will travel at a speed of 160 kilometer per hour. The feasibility of the project was prepared and agreed some 13 years back.
Premier Li said China was willing to work with Pakistan to intensify high-level contacts, deepen pragmatic cooperation, align the Belt and Road Initiative with Pakistan’s development strategy, and jointly build a closer China-Pakistan community with shared future. China will further promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of energy, environmental protection, industries and people’s livelihood.
China stands ready to enhance coordination with Pakistan in international and regional affairs to safeguard their shared interests and also that of other developing countries, said the Chinese premier. Pakistan is willing to work with China to expand cooperation of special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework, strengthen cooperation in green development and environmental protection, and intensify communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, Imran Khan said, refuting the accusation that China has let Pakistan fall into debt trap. They attended the signing ceremony of cooperation documents after the meeting.
Both leaders reaffirmed the time-tested and strong friendship between Pakistan and China and exchanged views on the myriad facets of bilateral engagement. The Prime Minister extended felicitations to the Chinese leadership for successful holding of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF). Noting the depth and breadth of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Prime Minister said it was of immense significance for the world in terms of connectivity and shared prosperity.
The two sides exchanged views on bilateral collaboration in the context of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and prospects of further deepening economic linkages.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of CPEC for Pakistan’s economy and noted with satisfaction its expansion into new areas of development – including industrial development; livelihood projects; social uplift; and agriculture in line with the priorities of government.
He hoped that Chinese investment in Specialized Economic Zones (SEZs) would expand Pakistan’s industrial base and assist in diversifying its export basket. Underlining the steady growth of bilateral cooperation since the Prime Minister’s last visit to China in November 2018, Premier Li Keqiang expressed satisfaction at the positive momentum of CPEC projects.
He hoped that the conclusion of the Second Phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), would give further boost to trade and economic relations between the two countries.
The two sides agreed to further deepen the political, security, economic, education, science and technology, cultural, and people-to-people relations. It was agreed to maintain the existing momentum of high level exchanges between the two countries. The two leaders also exchanged views on regional issues including peace efforts in Afghanistan and peace and stability in South Asia. They also agreed to closely coordinate in their endeavours.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and the host observed that as a major pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had achieved important early outcomes. Wang called on both sides to continue implementing the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, strengthen cooperation in all respects, promote exchanges and mutual learning between the civilizations, and make the China-Pakistan relations more substantive and result-oriented in the new era.
Imran Khan said Pakistan stands ready to work with China in developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and elevate bilateral ties to a new level. The vice president also hosted a banquet for the prime minister and the Pakistani delegation on behalf of President Xi Jinping.
While addressing Pakistan and China Investment Forum organized by the Ministry of Commerce, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited the Chinese entrepreneurs to take benefits of investment friendly policies of the present government and relocate their industries in the special economic zones being built under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative.
We want the Chinese entrepreneurs to relocate their industries in special economic zones being constructed in Pakistan just like they repositioned the industries in Vietnam and other countries. More than 370 Chinese companies and businessmen and 70 entrepreneurs from Pakistan participated in the forum. The prime minister also expressed his government’s resolve to remove impediments in the way of investment and make the doing business easy for the Chinese businessmen in Pakistan.
He said the government has offered incentives and concessions in the tax and asked them to use Pakistan as base for the export to other countries. Unfortunately, the previous government did not pay much attention to set up export industries but the present government has changed policy and encouraging investment, adding, We are not only helping the exporters but also providing incentives to businessmen and traders to relocate their industries in our country.
On the CPEC, he said, it was started with building infrastructure and couple of roads has blossomed to different areas of cooperation as now it has gone into cooperation in agriculture which is the lifeline of Pakistan. He expressed the confidence the economic growth would improve after the rise of agriculture products with the cooperation of China. Highlighting the security situation in the country, he said it has been greatly improved with sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s armed forces and other security organizations. They have overcome a difficult security situation.
A day earlier, while speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the participant countries of the Belt and Road Initiative to join hands in fighting climate change by planting 100 billion trees, establish tourism corridor and combat corruption. Prime Minister suggested a five-point road map to direct efforts and focus on the peoples of the participating countries, and towards addressing impediments on their way to sustainable growth.
Speaking on the theme of “Shaping a Brighter Future”, Prime Minister Imran Khan told the gathering comprising around 37 world leaders the urgency to create a poverty alleviation fund and the importance of efforts to further liberalize trade and investment flows. World leaders including Russian president Vladimir Putin, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, UK chancellor Philip Hammond, and the heads of state of the 10 Asean – Association of South-east Asian Nation states, besides over 5,000 participants from more than 150 countries were also present on the occasion. The United States has sent a low-level delegation, while India opted not to attend.