China, Pakistan sign 23 agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation

Historic Meeting in Beijing: PM Shehbaz Sharif, President Xi Jinping discuss strategic ties

ISLAMABAD, JUN 8: /DNA/ – At the invitation of Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan paid an official visit to China from June 4 to June 8, 2024.

2. During the visit, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China met with Prime Minister Sharif. Prime Minister Sharif held talks with Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, and met with Zhao Leji, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The two sides had candid and in-depth exchanges of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as regional situation and international landscape and reached extensive consensus on further strengthening the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and promoting practical cooperation in various areas, and on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
3. The two sides agreed that Pakistan and China are All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners and ironclad friends, and the two countries have always understood, trusted and supported each other. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 73 years ago, Pakistan-China relations have stood the test of changing international environment and have been as solid as a rock, and as unshakable as a mountain. The Chinese side reiterated that the Pakistan-China relationship is a priority in its foreign relations. The Pakistani side underscored that the Pakistan-China relationship is the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The two sides enjoy unbreakable strategic mutual trust, fruitful practical cooperation in various fields, and maintain close coordination on international and regional affairs. The two sides would continue to view the relationship between Pakistan and China from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, take effective measures to safeguard the common interests of Pakistan and China, promote socio-economic development and well-being of the two peoples, work together to jointly uphold regional peace, stability, development and prosperity, and accelerate the building of an even closer Pakistan-China Community with a Shared Future in the New Era.
4. The Chinese side congratulated Pakistan on holding successful general elections, and expressed best wishes for the new Pakistani government in leading the Pakistani people in their endeavors to achieve socio-economic development, prosperity, unity, stability and security. The two sides will explore avenues to deepen experience-sharing in state governance and synergize their development strategies.
5. The Pakistani side spoke highly of China’s major development achievements in the New Era, and expressed good wishes to the Chinese people that under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, China will realize the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in every dimension. The Pakistani side spoke highly of and supports China’s all-round efforts to advance the building of a strong country and achieve national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization, believes that the Chinese path to modernization provides a new option and practical solution for developing countries to achieve independent development.
6. The two sides reaffirmed their unyielding support for each other on issues concerning their respective core interests. Both sides stressed that the authority of the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 brooks no dispute or challenge. Pakistan reaffirmed its firm commitment to the one-China principle, and reiterated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China’s territory, and that Pakistan firmly supports the Chinese government’s every effort to achieve national reunification and opposes any form of “Taiwan independence.” Pakistan firmly supports China on issues concerning Xinjiang, Xizang, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
The Chinese side reiterated its steadfast support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity, in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and in its efforts to safeguard national security, stability, development and prosperity, in firmly combating terrorism, and in playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs.
7. The two sides strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Chinese convoy of the Dasu Hydropower Project in Pakistan on March 26, 2024, and emphasized that no attempt to undermine Pakistan-China friendship and cooperation will ever succeed. The Chinese side appreciated the Pakistani side’s active pursuit and conduct of the investigation and its findings, and hoped that the Pakistani side would continue to make every effort to hunt down any perpetrators and make sure they receive deserved severe punishment. The Pakistani side was committed to enhancing security forces deployment and taking more effective security measures, and making all-out efforts to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan.
The two sides reiterated their commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations with a “zero tolerance” attitude, and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and security through a comprehensive approach. Calling on the international community to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, the two sides expressed their firm opposition to double standards on counter-terrorism, and opposed the politicization and instrumentalization of counter-terrorism. The two sides stood ready to work with the international community to strengthen multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations.
8. The two sides recognized that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative. Since the launch of CPEC, the two sides have adhered to the principle of “planning together, building together, and benefiting together,” and promoted the construction of CPEC to achieve fruitful results, which has changed the development landscape of Pakistan, benefited its people’s well-being, and promoted the integrated development of Pakistan and China. After the successful first decade of CPEC, the two sides are committed to carrying out the eight major steps for supporting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, forging an “upgraded version” of CPEC by jointly building a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor, aligning with Pakistan’s 5Es Framework based on Exports, E-Pakistan, Environment, Energy, and Equity & Empowerment to better benefit the two countries and their peoples, working together to build CPEC into an exemplary project of high-quality building of Belt and Road cooperation.
9. Expressing satisfaction at the holding of the 13th CPEC’s Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting (online) on May 24, 2024, the two sides agreed to expeditiously implement consensus achieved by the JCC.
10. The two sides reaffirmed that upgradation of ML-I is an important project under the CPEC framework and is of strategic significance to Pakistan’s socio-economic development. The two sides agreed to implement the common understanding of the leaders of the two countries, actively explore advancing the project in a “phased manner” and start working on financing modalities.
11. The two sides recognized that the Karakoram Highway (Raikot-Thakot) realignment project is of great significance for the smooth operation of the only land-based channel between Pakistan and China. The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the important progress made in the preliminary work of the project, and signed the framework agreement of the project during this visit.
12. The two sides believed that the Khunjerab-Sost pass plays an important role in promoting trade and people-to-people exchanges between Pakistan and China. The two sides agreed to advance upgradation of the inspection infrastructure of the Khunjerab-Sost pass so as to realize the all year-round function of the Khunjerab-Sost pass at an early date.
13. Recognizing the significance of Gwadar Port as an important node in cross-regional connectivity, the two sides were satisfied that the New Gwadar International Airport will soon be finished, and reiterated the need to speed up the development of the auxiliary infrastructure of the Gwadar Port in order to fully realize the potential of the coastal city, especially as a transshipment hub with a shipyard.
14. The two sides put great emphasis on industry cooperation under the framework of high-quality CPEC development. The two sides signed the Action Plan for Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under CPEC to strengthen industrial cooperation in various areas suited to their local conditions. China reiterated its commitment to Pakistan’s industrialization, and will encourage Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones in accordance with the market and commercial principles. Pakistan agreed to optimize its business environment and policy framework to further facilitate Chinese investment. The two sides reiterated that CPEC is an open and inclusive platform for win-win cooperation, and welcomed third parties to actively participate in the CPEC cooperation priority areas such as industry, agriculture, ICT, science and technology and mining.
15. Recognizing that mining is an important breakthrough area for industrial cooperation, both sides agreed to strengthen long-term planning for mining cooperation, promote the implementation of the Agreement to Strengthen Mining and Industrial Cooperation under the CPEC Framework collectively, and take actions such as geological survey, joint geology and minerals research and talent training. The two sides expressed their willingness to actively encourage Chinese companies to invest in the mining industry of Pakistan, and strengthen the planning of mining industrial parks, including downstream mineral processing.
16. The Chinese side expressed its willingness to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan in such areas as offshore oil and gas resources, and natural gas hydrate. The Chinese side would encourage Chinese companies to actively participate in the development of offshore oil and gas blocks of Pakistan.
17. Both sides agreed that agricultural cooperation between the two countries enjoys a bright future. The two sides would carry out practical cooperation for modernizing agriculture in Pakistan in areas such as seed technology, crop cultivation, drip irrigation, prevention and control of animal and plant diseases, agricultural mechanization, production capacity cooperation, and agricultural technology exchanges.
18. Both sides were satisfied with the outcomes reached in the second meeting under the framework of the CPEC Joint Working Group on Information Technology Industry. The two sides are willing to enhance policy coordination in related areas, and promote experience sharing and talent training. The two sides agreed to strengthen development of the Pakistan-China digital information channel, and promote the integration of information and communication technology infrastructure and develop an innovation corridor through Pakistan.
19. The two sides were satisfied with the progress in energy cooperation between Pakistan and China. The two sides reaffirmed the significance of enhancing bilateral energy cooperation, expressed commitment to further strengthening collaboration in clean energy sector,and encouraged Chinese companies to engage in hydropower and other relevant projects based on market principles and commercial operations and achieve win-win outcomes. While appreciating China’s contributions to addressing power shortages in Pakistan, both sides agreed to launch a new phase of energy cooperation, by modernizing production, transmission and distribution systems to reduce line and other losses.
20. China was committed to further implementing more “small yet smart” livelihood programs in Pakistan. The two sides agreed to promptly implement post-disaster reconstruction aid projects aided by China in Pakistan at an early date. The two sides welcomed CIDCA’s enhanced contributions to complementing the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in promoting socio-economic development and creating further livelihood opportunities for the people of Pakistan as envisaged under Global Development Initiative (GDI).
21. Under the framework of the Phase II of Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement, both sides agree to conduct further consultation and actively explore concessional arrangements for mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.
22. The two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the financial sector and stand ready to support each other in regional and international multilateral financial forums.
The leaders expressed satisfaction on the completion of the report of Pakistan’s Industrial Landscape and Suggestion to Improve its Export Capacity, and expected the report, as reference would contribute to Pakistan’s industrial and export capacity.
The Pakistani government identified 13 priority sectors for enhancing export oriented industry and encouraged Chinese top companies in these sectors to make investment in Pakistan. The Chinese side welcomed Pakistan to expand exports to China.
Both sides also agreed to leverage the existing and new sister city agreements for better promoting economic integration and attracting investment in Pakistan in the priority sectors. Both sides agreed to further strengthen business to business exchanges with facilitation and preference.
23. The two sides recognized that collaboration in the sector of science and technology plays an important role in promoting practical cooperation between Pakistan and China. Both sides agreed to further expand inter-governmental cooperation in scientific and technological sector, and elevate collaboration among the scientific and technological communities of both countries in areas such as joint research, technology transfer, technical training, and personnel exchanges, as well as strengthening their partnership in emerging technologies including communication infrastructure, 5G, big data, and cloud computing.
The two sides were willing to strengthen policy coordination in the field of artificial intelligence, deepen relevant practical cooperation, and jointly promote the development of artificial intelligence technology. The Pakistani side welcomes the Global AI Governance Initiative announced by President Xi Jinping, and China’s endeavor to increase the right of developing countries in global AI governance. The two sides agreed that the international community should uphold the principle of attaching equal importance to development and security, and work together to build an open, fair and effective Al governance mechanism through dialogue, consultation and equal cooperation, so that Al technology can play a positive role in benefiting people of all countries and propel the development of human civilization.
The two sides believed that the expansion and enhancement of space cooperation between the two countries will serve as a booster for Pakistan to strengthen its scientific and technological capabilities, drive economic growth, and safeguard national security. The two sides are willing to continue to deepen space cooperation for peaceful use based on equality and mutual benefit.
24. China was committed to continuing its support for Pakistan in organizing and participating in cultural and tourism exchanges in China. Both sides reaffirmed their determination to enhance practical cooperation in the fields of culture and tourism.
The two sides placed great emphasis on and were committed to further enhancing bilateral exchanges and cooperation in areas such as education, sports, broadcasting, media, and think tanks, in order to contribute to the continuation of the longstanding friendship between the two countries, the promotion of their respective rich cultures, and the advancement of exchanges and dialogue among civilizations.
The two sides were committed to establishing more favorable conditions for the exchange of personnel between the two countries.
25. The two sides attached great importance to climate change, expressed their commitment to actively implementing policies related to climate change, enhancing communication and coordination in the multilateral process of addressing climate change, and jointly upholding multilateralism and solidarity among developing countries. China reaffirmed its commitment to continue providing support and assistance to Pakistan and other developing countries in addressing climate change and mitigating the adverse impacts of extreme weather events.
China was willing to collaborate with Pakistan in promoting the establishment of the Belt and Road International Cooperation Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Management. China welcomed Pakistan to collaborate in establishing a fire information sharing liaison mechanism, and expressed willingness to cooperate with Pakistan to further enhance its disaster management capacity.
26. The two sides expressed satisfaction that the armed forces of the two countries maintained a high-level of strategic mutual trust, developed close coordination and promoted cooperation in the long term. The two sides underscored that stronger strategic defence and security cooperation between Pakistan and China plays an irreplaceable and critical role in maintaining peace and stability and ensuring strategic balance of the region. The two sides agreed to maintain high-level military-to-military visits and exchanges and promote cooperation in areas of joint training and exercises and military technology.
27. Both sides underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, the need for resolution of all outstanding disputes, and their opposition to any unilateral action. The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is left over from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
28. The two sides jointly advocated an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. Both sides opposed hegemony, domineering and bullying, exclusionist approaches, opposed power politics, as well as unilateralism in all forms. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to jointly upholding the international system with the United Nations as its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, adhere to true multilateralism, work for a just and more equitable international order, safeguard the peace and stability of the region and the world. The two sides agreed to further strengthen communication and coordination in the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other multilateral platforms.
The two sides agreed that the thought to build a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping, has guided the progress of human society, enriched the practice of global governance, and opened up a new path for the handling of international relations in a proper way. The two sides agreed to promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. Both sides will jointly focus on development agenda, respond to security challenges, carry forward Asian values and build an open and inclusive regional architecture, so as to benefit the two peoples, maintain regional peace and prosperity and make greater contribution to peace and progress of humanity.
The Chinese side reaffirmed that China always remains a firm member of developing countries. China is willing to work together with Pakistan and other developing countries, following the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual trust, win-win cooperation, solidarity and coordination, to jointly embark on the path of fair, open, comprehensive and innovative development, promote development and prosperity of most developing countries, and strive to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
29. The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination on the Afghanistan issue. Both sides called for concerted efforts of the international community to positively support Afghanistan in properly addressing challenges in such areas as humanitarianism and economic development, encourage the interim government of Afghanistan to build an inclusive political framework, adopt moderate policies, pursue good-neighborliness, and firmly combat terrorism, including not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist acts. Both sides agreed to play a constructive role in helping Afghanistan to achieve stable development and integrate into the international community.
30. The two sides reiterated that the fundamental way out of the current crisis in Gaza lies in the Two-State solution and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council is legally binding, and should be enforced effectively to achieve an unconditional and lasting ceasefire immediately. The two sides called on the international community for increasing political input into the Palestinian question with a greater sense of urgency, stepping up efforts to facilitate the early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and strive for enduring peace.
31. During the visit, the two sides signed 23 agreements and MOUs covering cooperation on CPEC, agriculture, infrastructure, industrial cooperation, inter-governmental development assistance, market regulation, surveying and mapping, media, film, etc.
32. Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif expressed appreciation to the Chinese government and people for the warm hospitality extended to him and the Pakistani delegation, and invited Chinese leaders to visit Pakistan and attend the 23rd Meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States. The Chinese leaders appreciated the invitation. The two sides agreed to maintain communication on that through diplomatic channels.