BEIJING, Nov. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — China and Pakistan on Wednesday vowed to make joint efforts in elevating the level of all-round strategic cooperation and inject new impetus into their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Pakistan has always been a high priority in China’s neighborhood diplomacy when meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, who was among the first foreign leaders invited to Beijing after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). This is also the prime minister’s first visit to China since assuming office in April.
Sharif said that his visit is a “testament to the profound, iron-clad friendship” between Pakistan and China, adding that deepening Pakistan’s all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with China is a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the national consensus of Pakistan.
China ready to provide new opportunities
China will continue its fundamental policy of opening-up and provide new opportunities to Pakistan and the rest of the world through continuous development, Xi told Sharif.
The two sides should make full use of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), advance CPEC with greater efficiency, and make CPEC an exemplar of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, he said.
Noting that CPEC has had a profound impact on Pakistan’s economic and social development, Sharif said Pakistan is ready to work with China to continue promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
As a flagship program of the Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC has become a landmark of China-Pakistan cooperation. It has effectively boosted economic development, improved people’s livelihood, and generated positive socioeconomic effects in Pakistan. The recent 11th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC was a success. Multiple common understandings were reached about CPEC’s future development.
The two sides also agreed to expand cooperation in digital economy, e-commerce, photovoltaic and other new-energy technologies, as well as advance cooperation concerning agriculture, science, technology and people’s livelihood.
China has been Pakistan’s largest trade and investment partner, the largest exporter and the second largest importer for six consecutive fiscal years since 2015.
Last year, trade between China and Pakistan reached $27.82 billion, a year-on-year increase of 59.1 percent. Chinese exports to Pakistan totaled $24.23 billion, a year-on-year increase of 57.8 percent, while imports from Pakistan were $3.59 billion, a year-on-year increase of 68.9 percent, showed data from the General Administration of Customs.
Jointly advancing global governance
China will work with Pakistan to advance the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and make the global economic governance system more fair, equitable and inclusive that benefits all, Xi said.
The GDI and the GSI, proposed by Xi Jinping in 2021 and 2022 respectively, seek to overcome the tunnel vision that contributes to the rise of de-globalization, populism and xenophobia, which risk impeding global governance of development and security.
The GDI highlights re-energizing and speeding up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and building a global community of development, while the GSI gives clear answers to questions such as what security concept the world needs and how countries can achieve common security, which opens an important new way for global security governance.
Sharif expressed full support for the initiatives, adding that his country will strengthen communication with China in international and regional affairs to contribute positively to world peace and development.
The Pakistani prime minister also reiterated his country’s firm commitment to the one-China policy and its firm support for China’s position on issues concerning China’s core interests including Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
The Pakistan-China friendship is unbreakable, and Pakistan will always stand firmly with China, he added.
The two countries issued a joint statement, highlighting mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests, the key role of various bilateral cooperation mechanisms for deepening strategic communication, and cooperation in the areas of agriculture, mining, IT and socio-economic development under CPEC.
The two sides also signed and concluded a number of agreements, covering bilateral cooperation in areas of e-commerce, digital economy, export of agricultural products, financial cooperation, protection of cultural property and infrastructure, among others.