Pakistan, China agree to bolster CPEC cooperation, strategic partnership
President Xi assures support to ML-1, Karachi Circular Railway projects: Announces more RMB500 million flood aid: Shehbaz offers joint ventures in 10,000MW solar power, water supply projects to Chinese companies: Insists on early completion of Gwadar Airport: Vows foolproof security to Chinese: Says Rs50b revolving fund set up: Rs150b paid to Chinese companies: Also thanks Beijing for relief assistance to flood victims
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Iron Brothers Pakistan and China have agreed to further buttress their strategic partnership and promote their multidimensional cooperation including under CPEC, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The understanding came at a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Beijing on Wednesday.
The meeting between the two leaders laid focus on bilateral cooperation especially in the industrial sector.
The two leaders met at the People’s Great Hall of China and discussed broad-based cooperation in economy and investment besides exchanging views on regional and global developments.
PM Sharif and President Xi expressed the desire to further promote the All-Weather Strategic Cooperation Partnership between their countries.
During the meeting held at the People’s Great Hall in Beijing, President Xi Jinping assured China’s continued support for Pakistan’s sustainable economic and strategic projects including the Main Line-1 (ML-1) rail track and announced an additional assistance package of RMB 500 million for the country’s flood relief efforts.
The two leaders reaffirming their mutual commitment to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreed that as a project of strategic importance, both sides would make joint efforts to “launch the ML-1 as an early harvest project under the CPEC framework”. They also acknowledged the need for a mass-transit project in Karachi and agreed to finalize all formalities for the early launch of the Karachi Circular Railway.
They also appreciated the signing of a number of agreements covering a broad range of bilateral cooperation during the visit.
Shehbaz Sharif congratulated President Xi on his re-election as General Secretary of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He also thanked him for China’s invaluable assistance to Pakistan’s relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the wake of the devastation caused by super floods in the country.
The two leaders reviewed the progress in Pakistan-China bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They reaffirmed their commitment to the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries that has withstood the test of time. The two nations have stood firmly side by side, in realizing their shared vision of peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s unique historic ties with China and the salience of bilateral friendship for regional peace and stability, Shehbaz strongly emphasized that Pakistan-China friendship enjoyed complete consensus across the political spectrum in Pakistan and was a model of inter-state relations. Paying tribute to President Xi’s leadership for China’s prosperity and his vision for strengthening bilateral relationship, Shehbaz said Pakistan drew inspiration from China’s socio-economic development and national resolve to the country’s progress and prosperity.
The two leaders discussed cooperation across a range of issues, including defence, trade and investment, agriculture, health, education, green energy, science and technology, and disaster preparedness.
The two leaders exchanged views on the rapid transformation in the international environment, which had exacerbated economic challenges for developing countries. They affirmed their shared belief in dialogue and cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit as critical for global peace and prosperity.
They agreed that contemporary challenges like climate change, health pandemics, and growing inequalities needed unqualified cooperation among states, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. There was complete unanimity of views between the two leaders.
Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi also discussed key issues, pertaining to the region including the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and in Afghanistan.
Both leaders acknowledged that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would promote regional security and economic development and agreed that CPEC’s extension to Afghanistan would strengthen regional connectivity initiatives.
The prime minister also extended a warm invitation to President Xi for visiting Pakistan at an early date, which the latter accepted graciously.
PM invites Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan
Later, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday invited the leading companies of China to invest in Pakistan.
According to the official sources, the Chinese companies accepted the invitation to invest in big projects including that of supplying clean drinking water in Karachi.
They showed keen interest in investment and joint ventures with Pakistan.
The prime minister offered the Chinese companies to work together on 10,000 MW solar power project.
He also stressed the need for speeding up the work on Gwadar Airport and completing it by the end of the current year.
The Chinese company assured the prime minister of the completion of Gwadar Airport early next year.
“I am aware that there have been many problems in the past for which we apologise,” the prime minister said.
“After assuming power on April 11, 2022, we solved the problems faced by the Chinese companies. We also paid Rs160 billion that we owed to the Chinese companies. Rs50 billion were paid yesterday,” he added.
“On the instructions of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the State Bank has made a revolving fund with Rs50 billion. With the payments, another Rs50 billion will be added to this fund,” he stated.
“There were problems in the past in payments for the Chinese imported coal. We are sorry of that,” he apologised.
“The problem of land acquisition in the Diamir Bhasha project will be solved. No problem will not be allowed to hinder the project,” he pledged.
The prime minister also expressed his regret over the incidents that claimed the lives of Chinese, adding that the accused involved in such incidents had been arrested, and they would get exemplary punishment.
“Best security measures are being taken. Foolproof security of the Chinese citizens working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other projects will be ensured,” he assured.
“The safety of our Chinese brothers and sisters is as dear to us as our own citizens,” he pointed out.
The prime minister also pledged to solve the problems related to Mohmand Dam.
“Water supply is a big problem in the city of 20 million people, Karachi. We are ready to work with you along with the Sindh government on a water supply project,” he offered the Chinese investors.
“A comprehensive plan has been made to generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity from solar energy.
I also invite you to invest in the wind power generation projects,” he added.
“We will work together with you so that the relations between the two countries develop,” he pointed out and also thanked the Chinese investors for taking interest in different projects in Pakistan.
The prime minister also thanked China for its generous assistance to flood victims in Pakistan.
PM holds meeting with Chinese counterpart: Marriyum
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday also held a meeting with Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a tweet.
Sharing the pictures of the meeting on her twitter handle, she said that the two leaders had a consensus on the early completion and expansion of CPEC projects.
PM Shehbaz Sharif and Premier Li- Kiqiang in delegation level talks deliberated upon CPEC extension to harness multiplier effects in terms of future socio-economic development and geopolitical stability in accordance with transformational potential of CPEC. #PMShehbazinChina pic.twitter.com/3XfVJ9tgaK— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) November 2, 2022
After the meeting, a guard of honour was also presented in the Great Hall of People, where treaties and agreements were signed between China and Pakistan, Marriyum Aurangzeb said.