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Chinese envoy, army chief discuss regional security

Updated May 21, 2019

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RAWALPINDI: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing calls on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on Monday. — INP
RAWALPINDI: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing calls on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on Monday. — INP

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambass­ador Yao Jing on Monday met Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa for a discussion on regional security.

In a brief statement on the meeting, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media affairs wing of the armed forces, said: “Mr Yao Jing, Ambassador of China to Pakistan, called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff [COAS], at the GHQ today”.

“During the meeting matters of mutual interest, including regional security situation, were discussed,” it further said.

The meeting took place ahead of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan’s visit to Pakistan over the next few days. The Chinese vice president is one of the leading figures in China’s foreign affairs.

Pakistan and China closely coordinate their positions on regional matters. They have been cooperating for peace in Afghanistan, a process that has made little progress so far, and the developing situation in the Middle East is also of concern to both countries.

Vice President Wang Qishan is likely to visit Pakistan in next few days

China at the start of this month lifted technical hold on the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar by UNSC Sanctions Committee leading to his proscription as a global terrorist.

China has been concerned at the intensification of terrorist activity in Balochistan, particularly the recent attack in Gwadar, which is an important node in cross-regional connectivity and the central pillar of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had after the attack said: “We commend and thank the Pakistani security forces for safeguarding peace and stability in Gwadar and the security of Chinese personnel and institutions by taking swift measures to eliminate the terrorists.”

Reaffirming confidence in the capabilities of Pakistani armed forces, he had said: “We believe the Pakistani government and military are capable of upholding its national security and stability.”

Pakistan and China last month embarked on the new phase of CPEC by signing memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and socio-economic development and a new agreement on free trade.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019