Pakistan, China vow to safeguard CPEC from all threats in 'strategic dialogue' between foreign ministers

Updated March 19, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. — GoP Twitter
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. — GoP Twitter

The Foreign Ministers of China and Pakistan held a 'Strategic Dialogue' in Beijing on Tuesday in which the sides vowed to protect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor from all kinds of threats, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Dialogue was co-chaired by State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is on a three-day visit to China.

"During the dialogue, the two sides undertook in-depth discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations, including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, trade, investment and economic cooperation, people-to-people contacts and regional and international issues," read the statement.

The two foreign ministers reaffirmed the "commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor" and agreed to ensure the smooth implementation of CPEC projects, in particular, its special economic zones.

"While rejecting the negative propaganda against CPEC, they expressed a strong resolve to safeguard CPEC from all kinds of threats," said the foreign affairs ministry in the statement.

The statement added that the two counterparts reaffirmed the "time-tested and all-weather strategic cooperative partnership" between the two countries and agreed to maintain regular two-way high-level political and official exchanges".

According to the handout, the two sides also "expressed commitment to translate the vision of the leadership to build a closer China-Pakistan community of [a] shared future in the new era".

The two foreign ministers, on behalf of their states, reaffirmed support for one another on "all core issues of national interest", highlighting the importance of state sovereignty and territorial integrity which are the cardinal principles of UN Charter and international law.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed on the need for de-escalation of tensions in South Asia and underlined the necessity to resolve all outstanding disputes through dialogue and peaceful means.

It was also agreed upon to strengthen "people-to-people contacts, cultural cooperation and tourism", the statement noted adding that China and Pakistan are celebrating 2019 as the "year of sister-cities exchanges".

"The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation against terrorism by strengthening communication and coordination in relevant fields," it further stated.

China highly appreciated Pakistan's commitment and efforts towards combatting terrorism. Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed gratitude, in return, for China's continued support in Pakistan's efforts.

The two ministers also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and "expressed support for the ongoing efforts for peace and reconciliation" in the region.

"Both sides reiterated support for Afghan-owned Afghan-led inclusive peace process and called on all stakeholders in Afghanistan to become part of an intra-Afghan dialogue. They also urged all sides to show flexibility to find a durable solution to the Afghan conflict," read the statement.

"The two sides agreed to continue their mutual collaboration at the regional multilateral and international forums. They expressed their support for consensus-based reform of the United Nations so that it responds to the interests and concerns of all Member States," it noted in conclusion.

Meeting with Vice President Qishan

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who also met Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, conveyed the government's resolve towards ensuring the smooth implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

During the meeting, Qureshi conveyed Prime Minister Imran Khan's felicitations to the Chinese vice president and conveyed the premier's eagerness to attend the second Belt and Road Forum in China next month.

Vice President Qishan, in turn, expressed satisfaction at "the upward trajectory of bilateral ties" between the two countries, a Foreign Office press release stated.

The foreign minister also briefed the vice president on recent developments in the region and thanked China for playing an important role in the easing of tensions between Pakistan and India.

Qureshi and Qishan also discussed progress on CPEC, with both sides agreeing that the smooth implementation of the corridor will greatly contribute to socio-economic development of Pakistan.