ISLAMABAD, AUG 22 (DNA) – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi returned to Pakistan after completion of his two-day official visit to China.The foreign minister visited China to attend the 2nd Round of China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue held in Chinese Hainan province wherein he also met State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and discussed bilateral and regional matters.
According to a joint statement issued by the Foreign Office, the two sides exchanged views on COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and reached consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity, and development in the region.
The statement stated that both sides agreed that Pakistan and China have stood in solidarity and worked together since the COVID-19 outbreak by timely sharing of experiences relating to the prevention and control of the virus, mutual support in providing medical materials, and have set an example for international community to jointly fight the pandemic.
Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in developing a vaccine to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and strive to promote establishment of China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future and Community of Common Health.
“Both sides emphasized that unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon for the international community against the disease. Both sides opposed politicizing the pandemic, labeling viruses; supported WHO to play a leading role in global public health governance, and called for the international community to increase the sense of a community of shared future and carry out effective joint prevention and control measures in order to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19,” the statement said.
The statement further read that both sides reiterated that the enduring China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership is beneficial to international and regional peace and stability, and serves the mutual security and development interests of both countries as well as of international community and regional countries.
Both sides were committed to firmly implementing the consensus reached between the two leaders, enhancing mutual strategic trust, strengthening all-round cooperation, maintaining momentum of high-level exchanges, further advancing construction of Belt and Road Initiative, promoting bilateral relationship to a higher level, and delivering greater benefits to both countries and the two peoples.
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 appreciated China for standing together with Pakistan in safeguarding its national security and sovereignty, and reaffirmed its firm 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 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered the new phase of high-quality development, and has played and will continue to play an important role in supporting Pakistan to overcome the impact of COVID-19 and achieve greater development.
The vowed to continue to firmly advance the construction of CPEC, ensure in-time completion of those projects under construction, focus on economic and social development, job creation and improvement of people’s livelihood, and further strengthen cooperation in Specialized Economic Zones, industrial relocation, science and technology, medical and health, human resources training, poverty alleviation, and agriculture.
They agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Afghan issue and appreciated the efforts made by Afghan government and the Taliban to initiate the Intra-Afghan Negotiations. They emphasized the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated agreement for future political settlement in Afghanistan.
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. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.
China and Pakistan reaffirmed the vitality of the time-tested and All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries which remains unaffected by the vicissitudes of the regional and international developments and continues to move from strength to strength.
It is pertinent to mention here that FM Qureshi is the first foreign minister to visit China after downturn of COVID-19 pandemic. = DNA