Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday said China views relations with Pakistan as a priority of diplomacy.

President Xi made the remarks during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) that was held from April 25-27 in the Chinese capital.

Hailing the China-Pakistan All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, President Xi said China and Pakistan always firmly stick to mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.

No matter how the international and regional situation might evolve, the Chinese side will unswervingly support the Pakistani side in safeguarding its national sovereignty and national dignity, President Xi said.

He added China steadfastly supports Pakistan in independently choosing a development path that is suitable to its national conditions, in combating terrorism and extremist forces for a sound external security environment and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international affairs.

As the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and the cooperation in finance and trade have all reached key progress, the Chinese president said he hopes the two sides could keep advancing bilateral ties through high-quality cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Both sides should deepen strategic communication and high-level exchanges, President Xi added.

When exchanging views on the situation in South Asia, President Xi said he hopes Pakistan and India can meet each other halfway to promote stable bilateral relations.

Khan on his side said he believes more countries will participate and support the Belt and Road Initiative.

He said the CPEC is a landmark project of Belt and Road cooperation that has played an important role in developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods.

Pakistan appreciates China’s long-time support and is willing to reinforce communication and coordination in multilateral affairs with China, the prime minister added.

PM Imran Khan & Premier Li Keqiang
Photo: (April 28, 2019) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing – China.

Premier Meeting

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday in Beijing.

Li said China is willing to work with Pakistan to intensify high-level contacts, deepen pragmatic cooperation, align the Belt and Road Initiative with Pakistan’s development strategy, and jointly build a closer China-Pakistan community with shared future.

China will further promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of energy, environmental protection, industries and people’s livelihood, Li said.

China stands ready to enhance coordination with Pakistan in international and regional affairs to safeguard their shared interests and also that of other developing countries, said the Chinese premier.

Pakistan is willing to work with China to expand cooperation of special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework, strengthen cooperation in green development and environmental protection, and intensify communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, Imran Khan said, refuting the accusation that China has let Pakistan fall into debt trap.

Attending Signing Ceremony of cooperation documents after the meeting, at which the second phase of the FTA was signed. In addition to MOU’s and agreements, Declaration for Completion of Preliminary Design of Phase-I for Up-gradation of ML-1 Railway Project, Establishment of Havelian Dry Port under CPEC, Cooperation in the field of Marine Sciences between China Geological Survey (CGS), Ministry of Natural Resources of China, Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Science and Technology.

MoU between CIDCA and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform on Implementation of the Projects under JWG of CPEC on Socio-Economic Development, China-Pakistan Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement and Rashakai SEZ Joint Venture and License Agreement between KPEZMDC and CRBC were signed.