'Iron brothers': China, Pakistan agree to safeguard common interests, strengthen cooperation in all areas

Published August 21, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese FM Wang Yi greet each other in Hainan province of China. — Photo courtesy: FO
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese FM Wang Yi greet each other in Hainan province of China. — Photo courtesy: FO
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meets Chinese FM Wang Yi on August 21.  — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meets Chinese FM Wang Yi on August 21. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with his Chinese counterpart on Friday to hold the second round of the China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in the Chinese province of Hainan.

Qureshi, who is accompanied on the two-day official visit by senior officials, led the Pakistani delegation in the strategic dialogue while the Chinese side was led by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, according to a joint press release issued after the dialogue.

They also "reached consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity, and development in the region", the statement said.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

While reiterating that the 'China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership' is beneficial to international and regional peace and stability, the two sides showed commitment for enhancing mutual strategic trust, strengthening cooperation, maintaining the momentum of high-level exchanges, further advancing the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, promoting bilateral relationship to a higher level, and delivering greater benefits to both countries and the two peoples.

According to the press release, the Chinese side reiterated that Pakistan and China are "iron brothers" and Pakistan remains China’s "staunchest partner" in the region and that Beijing firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

The Pakistani side, meanwhile, reaffirmed its support to China on affairs concerning China's core interests and issues of major concern "such as those related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong".

Both sides underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered a "new phase of high-quality development" and will continue to play an important role in supporting Pakistan to overcome the impact of Covid-19 and achieve greater development.

They vowed to continue to firmly advance the construction of CPEC, ensure in-time completion of under-construction projects and focus on economic and social development.

The Foreign Office quoted Qureshi as saying that the on-time completion of projects planned under CPEC Phase II "is one of our top priorities".

He said the energy projects worth Rs13 billion agreed between China and Pakistan will help further strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.

China says Kashmir should be resolved peacefully

During the dialogue, the Pakistani delegation briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chinese side reiterated that "the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, which is an objective fact, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements", according to the joint press release, which said "China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation."

While agreeing to deepen coordination and cooperation to safeguard mutual interests, Pakistan and China reaffirmed their support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation, and opposition to "unilateralism, protectionism and coercive practices".

The two sides agreed that Pakistan and China have "set an example for international community" to jointly fight the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in developing a vaccine to defeat the virus and strive to promote establishment of China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future and Community of Common Health.

They opposed politicising the pandemic and "labelling viruses" and called on the international community to increase the sense of "a community of shared future".

The two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Afghan issue and encouraged relevant parties in Afghanistan to seize "this historic opportunity" and commence intra-Afghan negotiations at the earliest.

China also appreciated Pakistan’s contribution to the Afghan peace process and efforts for promoting peace and stability in the region, according to the statement.

The press release emphasised that the China-Pakistan strategic partnership "remains unaffected by the vicissitudes of the regional and international developments and continues to move from strength to strength".

In a video message released before his departure, Qureshi, who is scheduled to return today (August 21), said he was going on a “very important trip to China” and that he had a discussion with Prime Minister Imran Khan before leaving.

“I am leaving on a very important visit to China. I had a discussion with the prime minister regarding this visit yesterday. My delegation will represent the stance of the political and military leadership of the country. I am hopeful that my meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi will prove to be beneficial for both countries,” the foreign minister said.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

"The visit will play an important role in further strengthening Pakistan-China 'All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership' and deepen strategic communication and coordination with China on a range of issues," a Foreign Office statement had said.

Opinion

Climate & youth

Climate & youth

Disillusionment and anxiety are on the rise among youth as they confront the diminishing prospects of a better tomorrow.
Our exclusivity syndrome
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Our exclusivity syndrome

Pakistan needs at least a minimum level of inclusivity that can keep alive democratic values.
Shafqat Kakakhel
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Shafqat Kakakhel

COP26 has to achieve consensus on several issues.

Editorial

Carnage in Kandahar
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Carnage in Kandahar

Pakistan’s anti-extremism policy is in many ways half-baked and inconsistent.
17 Oct 2021

Sanctity of contracts

PAKISTAN is facing yet another international dispute before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment...
17 Oct 2021

New sports policy

THIS week, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee chief Haroon Malik was in Zurich to hold ...
Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...