Pakistan, China agree to strengthen strategic cooperation

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ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan on Saturday agreed to strengthen the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan, and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a joint press conference at the Foreign Office after they had a one-on-one meeting and held delegation-level talks.

“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is leading to fast paced progress,” FM Qureshi said while addressing the joint presser.

“Relations with China are an integral part of our foreign policy and CPEC is the new government’s top priority,” he added.

Speaking about the delegation-level talks held between the two countries, Qureshi said, “Bilateral relations and the regional situation were discussed.”

We also discussed trade relations, elimination of poverty, education and creation of jobs, he added.

Qureshi further said that security of Chinese citizens in Pakistan will be ensured.

“Pakistan has played a key role in eliminating terrorism and China appreciated Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror,” he added.

“The purpose of the Chinese foreign minister’s meeting is to increase communication with the new government,” he added.

Qureshi also said that Yi will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, outgoing president Mamnoon Hussain, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa.

“The Chinese foreign minister has invited PM Imran to visit the country in November,” Qureshi further said.

Chinese State Councilor Yi also spoke on the occasion and said, “We want to strengthen relations with Pakistan.”

“Had a positive meeting with Qureshi,” he added.

Further, Yi assured, “China will continue to support Pakistan as per its foreign policy.”

Earlier today, the two counterparts held a one-on-one meeting at the Foreign Office.

Delegation-level talks between the two delegations led by the two foreign ministers were also held, according to FO spokeperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.

“Chinese State Councillor Yi underscored Beijing’s firm support to Pakistan’s socioeconomic progress and development,” the FO spokesperson said.

Yi also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan to be the guest of honour at the International Import Expo in China.

“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), economic cooperation, cultural and educational exchanges and regional situation were discussed during the meeting,” the spokesperson further said.

Earlier, Qureshi during his one-on-one meeting with Yi reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthen partnership with China based on strategic cooperation between the two countries.

“CPEC is imperative for socio-economic development of Pakistan,” the Pakistani foreign minister said.

The Chinese foreign minister arrived in Pakistan on Friday.

This is the first official visit by a Chinese dignitary since the new government was formed in Pakistan.

The Chinese state councilor is visiting Pakistan upon the invitation of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

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