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Pakistan, China agree to safeguard common interests, promote peace

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Friday reached consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity, and development in the region, ARY News reported.

The consensus to this effect was reached during the second round of China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in Hainan, China, today. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi represented Pakistan while the Chinese side was represented by the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said a joint statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The two sides exchanged views on COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral relations, international and regional issues of mutual interest. 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.

Read More: FM Qureshi meets Chinese counterpart in Hainan

According to the joint statement, 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.

During the discussion, FM Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart 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.

They 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 China firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, independently choosing a development path based on its national conditions, striving for a better external security environment and playing a more constructive role on international and regional affairs, read the joint statement.

FM Qureshi 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.

Pakistan and China will 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, read the statement.

The foreign ministers expressed satisfaction over cooperation on regional and international issues at multilateral fora such as the UN, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN Regional Forum, and agreed to deepen coordination and cooperation to safeguard mutual interests and uphold principles of fairness and justice.

They underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in common interest of all parties. FM Qureshi briefed his Chinese counterpart on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese foreign minister 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.

Both sides 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.

Both 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.

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