BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday pointed out that his three meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan over the past eight months fully reflected the high level of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and said that both countries should carry out closer coordination and cooperation under the changing regional and international situation.
“Xi Jinping pointed out that in the past eight months, I met with the prime minister three times. This fully reflects the high level of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership,” said a statement issued by the Chinese foreign minister after the meeting held between President Xi and Prime Minister Khan on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The Chinese president remarked that under the changing international and regional situation, China and Pakistan should carry out closer coordination and cooperation to build a closer community of shared destiny.
Mr Xi emphasised that both the countries must maintain, consolidate and develop China-Pakistan all-weather relations and all-round cooperation.
He maintained that the two sides should thoroughly communicate on issues of common concern and jointly safeguard international and regional security and stability.
“We must expand and enrich the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with new focus on industrial parks, agriculture and people’s livelihood,” he added.
Mr Xi said it was necessary to seize the opportunity of the escalation of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and vigorously expand bilateral trade. China was willing to provide assistance to Pakistan within its ability, he added.
The Chinese president said his country supported Pakistan in carrying out the national anti-terrorism action plan and would help Pakistan strengthen its counter-terrorism capacity building, adding, “China supports Pakistan and India to improve relations.”
During the meeting, Prime Minister Khan said China was an all-weather strategic partner of Pakistan.
The Pakistani side thanked the Chinese side for its support and assistance for a long time and said Pakistan highly valued China’s positive role in promoting international and regional peace and security and was committed to continuously deepening its strategic relationship with China.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019