Pakistan on Saturday reiterated its support for China over several issues, including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.
Addressing a joint news conference with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Islamabad will continue to firmly support China on main issues of national interest, including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.
“We greatly appreciate China’s steadfast support on all our issues of core national interests, including the principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Pakistan’s top diplomat said after the Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue meeting of foreign ministers in Islamabad.
Zardari also thanked China for its generous and timely assistance to Pakistan and said the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a win-win economic initiative open to all investors around the world.
The two foreign ministers led their delegations during the 4th round of the meeting.
Later in a statement, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the two top diplomats underlined that “the Pakistan-China friendship was a historic reality and conscious choice of the two nations.”
Pakistan and China “enjoy complete mutual trust, and their iron-clad friendship enjoys complete consensus in both countries,” it added.
The Chinese side also reiterated its firm support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, as well as its unity, stability, and economic prosperity.
“Reaffirming their commitment to high-quality development of CPEC, both sides noted with satisfaction the steady progress of CPEC projects. They reiterated the key significance of ML-1 project under the CPEC framework and agreed to advance its earliest implementation,” read the Pakistani statement.
The two sides also confirmed their firm stance to fight terrorism and acknowledged the endeavors and sacrifices made by Pakistan to counter terrorism and extremism.
The Chinese side, for its part, appreciated the measures taken by Pakistan to ensure enhanced security of Chinese projects, personnel and institutions in Pakistan, as well as the steps taken to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators targeting Chinese nationals in Dasu, Karachi and other attacks.
At least 10 Chinese national were killed and 28 others wounded during an attack on a bus carrying Chinese workers in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in July 2021.
Later Pakistan announced that Islamabad would compensate families of 36 Chinese nationals who died and were injured in “the terrorist attack.”
Peace, stability in South Asia
Meanwhile, the two sides also underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, and the need for resolution of all outstanding disputes.
Also, Zardari briefed Qin over the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the statement.
The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir dispute was “left over from history between India and Pakistan” and should be resolved peacefully in line with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
“Both sides opposed any unilateral actions that further complicate the already volatile situation,” the statement added.
The two top diplomats also stressed that peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for socio-economic development, connectivity and prosperity in the region.
Both sides called on all stakeholders to work together for “a peaceful, stable, prosperous and united Afghanistan.”
Islamabad and Beijing underscored the need for the international community to provide continued assistance and support to Afghanistan, including through unfreezing of Afghanistan’s overseas financial assets.
They also agreed to provide humanitarian and economic assistance for the Afghan people and enhance cooperation with Kabul, including through extension of CPEC to Afghanistan.
Later, the Chinese top diplomat also met with Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who also arrived in Islamabad on Friday to participate in a trilateral dialogue of top diplomats of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Source : AA