ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Thursday agreed to further deepen their economic and security cooperation for consolidation of all weather friendship between the two countries.
The understanding came at delegation level talks between the two sides held here at Foreign Office.
Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi represented their countries in the talks which focused on cooperation in diverse fields including political, strategic, economic, energy and infrastructure.
The two countries agreed to step up a new mechanism for more counter terrorism cooperation to ensure safety of their peoples.
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi while addressing a joint press conference along with Advisor to National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Islamabad at an early date this year. He said, “That will be first visit of Chinese President to Pakistan as the head of state of China”.
He expressed the confidence that the visit will be historic and further enhance relations between the two countries which share common destiny.
The Chinese Foreign Minister also appreciated Pakistan’s resolute steps against terrorism.
He said the two sides discussed the regional situation and the need for strategic balance in South Asia.
The two sides also agreed to early operationalization of energy and infrastructure projects under Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project.
The Chinese Foreign Minister termed Pakistan-China economic corridor project as a flagship strategic cooperation project.
He said progress on this important project will be seen soon this year.
“We are doing our best that the peoples of two countries see the tangible benefits of this project,” he said.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project is targeted at the whole of Pakistan and its social and economic benefits will reach all parts of the country.
He said the two sides have agreed to enhance people to people contacts and cultural exchanges. He said these friendly exchanges will inject new energy in Pak-China relations.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said, “During my discussion with Sartaj Aziz, we agreed on everything. This shows the high degree of trust and support between the two countries”.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said both the countries are the true friends who have always stood by each other in difficult times and will continue to do so in future.
Sartaj Aziz in his remarks at joint press conference said Pakistan’s relations with China are the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
He said both the countries are convinced of the dividends of economic cooperation.
He said both sides are fully committed to add greater depth to the all-weather, friendly and cooperation relations.
Welcoming the news of early visit of Chinese President to Pakistan, the Advisor said the visiting dignitary will be accorded warm welcome.
In this regard he said, “We exchanged broad ideas to commence the substantive preparations for the visit”.
Sartaj Aziz also informed the Chinese Foreign Minister that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all neighbors including India.
He said, “We also agreed to work together for promotion of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan”.
Replying to a question, the Chinese Foreign Minister said Pakistan is an important neighbour of Afghanistan and both the countries shared historical, cultural and religious affinities.
He said Pakistan has a pivotal role in resolving the Afghan issue and appreciated Pakistan’s seriousness in resolution of Afghan crisis.
He said China will support Afghan government in its efforts for reconciliation with different groups for peace and stability in the region based on ‘Afghan led and Afghan owned’ principle.
He said China had been making sincere efforts to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan and to ensure development for the welfare of the Afghan people.
He said, “China is ready to play its necessary role and will deliver its commitment in terms of security, economy and support and only with smooth progress Afghanistan can realise its potential and embrace a brighter future”.
Replying to a question about the support of United States to India for permanent membership to Security Council of the United Nations, the Chinese Foreign Minister said there is need for reforms in the Security Council.
Supporting the stance of Pakistan for reforms in the Security Council instead of increasing its permanent members, the Chinese Foreign Minister said there is need to increase representation and voice to Security Council for the developing and small countries to make it more representative.
He said so far there has been no consensus on the increase of permanent membership of the Security Council as all the parties have not agreed on any resolution in this regard.
He said that all the parties have to be agreed on the issue of new membership of the permanent membership of the Security Council.