CPEC project to continue Pakistan, China to further solidify relations: FMs

CPEC project to continue Pakistan, China to further solidify relations: FMs

Pakistan to continue supporting China on all issues; peace in Afghanistan a must for regional peace and stability; Chinese protection govt top priority


BEIJING: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Pakistan Ishaq Dar has said Pakistan and China are all set to further strengthen their relations.

While addressing a joint press conference with the Chinese foreign Minister Ishaq Dar further said Pakistan will continue supporting China on all issues. He added, peace in Afghanistan was a must for regional peace and stability. He also assured the foreign minister that the Pakistan government will do its best for the Chinese protection .

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar co-chaired the 5th round of China-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue with Member of the Politburo of CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing today.

Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. Noting the China Pakistan ‘All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’, Deputy Prime Minister underlined relations with China as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the threats posed to regional peace and security due to India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, and appreciated China’s principled stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Both sides reiterated the resolve to further deepen the bilateral ties through continued high-level exchanges and bilateral consultative mechanisms. They also renewed the commitment to advance the high quality development of CPEC in its second phase with its focus on five corridors namely growth, innovation, open, livelihood, green corridors.

Statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

Joint Press Stakeout after Strategic Dialogue
Tuesday, 15 May 2024

It is a great pleasure to be in Beijing, among our trusted friends. It is heartening to note that our Strategic Dialogue today took place almost exactly one year after its 4th round in Islamabad on 06 May 2023.

  1. I wish to thank Foreign Minister Wang Yi for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to me. As one of the world’s leading statesmen and a sincere friend of Pakistan, I commend Mr. Wang’s vision and valuable contributions to Pakistan-China friendship and regional peace and stability.
  2. Earlier today, I also met Executive Vice Premier H.E. Mr. Ding Xuexiang. We held a productive discussion on a wide range of topics of bilateral interest. I also conveyed to Vice Premier Ding cordial greetings from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
  3. The 5th Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue couldn’t have occurred at a more opportune moment. It was held soon after the democratic political transition in Pakistan and at a time when important developments were unfolding in world politics that necessitated closer communication between Pakistan and China.
  4. We had detailed discussions on multiple facets of our bilateral ties, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the evolving geopolitical landscape in our region and beyond. We reached consensus on several important matters, which I can say with great confidence, will define the future trajectory of Pakistan-China relations. We agreed to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and bilateral consultative mechanisms to further fortify our long-cherished relationship.
  5. As All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners, our two countries will continue to support each other on issues of core interest and concern. We appreciate China’s steadfast support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, integrity, and right to development. We particularly appreciate China’s principled stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
  6. I briefed the Foreign Minister on the threats to regional peace and security that continue to emanate from India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, its unilateral actions, and hostile posture. Peace in our region will remain elusive until the historic injustices meted out to the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJK) are addressed, in line with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
  7. As a strategic partner and trusted friend, Pakistan will continue to support China on all its core issues, including Xinjiang, the South China Sea, Taiwan, and Xizang.
  8. Our two sides held detailed discussions on CPEC, which is the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative. In the last ten years, it has transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape by eliminating power outages and by developing a robust infrastructure network, thus laying a strong foundation for Pakistan’s future development.
  9. While expressing satisfaction with the steady pace of CPEC, we agreed to further upgrade and expand this cooperation as per the leadership’s vision. We will accelerate the implementation of the ML-1 railway line project, Gwadar Port development, realignment of Phase-II of the Karakoram Highway, and strengthen cooperation in agriculture, mining, minerals, energy, information technology, and industrial sectors.
  10. As we embark on Phase-II of CPEC, we look forward to developing corridors of growth, livelihood, innovation, green development, and inclusivity. To carry forward our shared vision of making CPEC an inclusive and transparent project, we also agreed to finalize the modalities for 3rdParty Participation in CPEC.
  11. We appreciate China’s development assistance to Pakistan and look forward to further enhancing China’s development footprints in Pakistan. I briefed Mr. Wang Yi on Pakistan’s vision to attract foreign investment in diverse sectors under Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). I commend China’s readiness to deepen our financial, bilateral trade and investment ties.
  12. As per our consensus, Karakoram Highway is the lynchpin of China-Pakistan geographical connectivity and an important artery of CPEC. We would implement our previous understanding to commence all-weather operations of Khunjerab-Sost border crossing soon.
  13. In our dialogue today, we agreed that a peaceful, stable, united, safe, and secure Afghanistan is fundamental for the development, connectivity, and prosperity of our region. We are concerned about the continued presence of terrorist entities operating in Afghanistan and call upon the Afghan Interim Government to take credible and verifiable actions against such elements using Afghan soil to threaten peace and security of the neighbouring countries.
  14. On behalf of the Pakistani leadership and people, I convey heartfelt condolences on the martyrdom of five Chinese and a Pakistani national in the heinous terrorist attack on 26 March 2024 in Shangla. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the Chinese government and people.
  15. Chinese personnel engaged in Pakistan’s national development are our guests. We deeply appreciate their sacrifices and will never forget their services to Pakistan. Pakistan remains fully committed to bringing the planners, financiers, and perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice. Our two sides continue to maintain close cooperation through our extensive bilateral channels.
  16. I shared with the Foreign Minister the extensive and elaborate measures we have taken to protect Chinese interests in Pakistan. While thanking China for acknowledging the sacrifices Pakistan has made against terrorism, let me express our firm resolve that we will not rest until the last vestige of terrorism is finally eliminated.
  17. I am satisfied to note that our two sides have a commonality of views on the challenges and changes sweeping the global geopolitical landscape. We share China’s vision for weaning our region away from ideological strife, for just and inclusive economic globalization, and for focusing our energies on the progress and development of our peoples. Pakistan remains opposed to bloc politics or Great Power contestation and, given the gravity of global challenges confronting humankind, advocates constructive engagement among members of the international community.
  18. Next week, Pakistan and China will be celebrating the 73rd anniversary of our friendship. This unique partnership is a moral force in world affairs and indispensable for the progress and development of our countries. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and I agreed to further enhance people-to-people exchanges between our two countries so that the sacred tale of Pakistan-China friendship may be passed on to our younger generations.
  19. In the end, I would once again sincerely thank Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Chinese government for the warm reception, elaborate preparations, cordial discussions, and productive outcomes of the Strategic Dialogue.
  20. I would conclude by expressing my best wishes for the continued prosperity and development of China and the growth of our ironclad brotherhood.

Question: How do you see the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) unfolding and its impact on Pakistan’s economy, infrastructure and livelihoods? How will you balance security and development in CPEC Phase II?

Answer: CPEC was launched as a joint vision of the leaderships of China and Pakistan in 2013. I am fortunate to have witnessed closely as part of the government in 2013 the evolution of CPEC’s first phase and now again as the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the development of CPEC in its second phase.

I must say that CPEC has been a boon for Pakistan’s energy and transport infrastructure, that has opened up fresh opportunities for businesses, industries and skill development. The new government in Pakistan, in partnership with China, is poised to harness these opportunities to accelerate Business to Business (B2B) linkages bringing our people even closer; develop Special Economic Zones (SEZ)’s to create strong industrial supply chain linkages; and create new jobs across multiple sectors in its second phase.
The second decade of CPEC is about high-quality development, with its potential to unleash a multiplier effect, through President Xi Jinping has termed as the ‘new quality productive forces’, on improving the productivity and quality of lives of our people.

In China, Pakistan has a friend but also an inspiration for the people-centric development of our economy. We are committed to realizing this goal by energizing the five corridors under CPEC, namely growth, livelihood, innovation, open and green corridors, which resonate closely with our own national development agenda.

Development of course has a mutually reinforcing relationship with security. I think even on this aspect, Pakistan can draw inspiration from our Chinese brethren for the way China has successfully advanced security and stability, while achieving phenomenal development at the same time.