PM Shehbaz’s China visit to become a milestone in bilateral relations: ambassador

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PM Shehbaz’s China visit to become a milestone in bilateral relations: ambassador

ISLAMABAD, Jun 3 (APP): Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong said on Monday that under the guidance of two leadership and strong support from the people of both countries, the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China would achieve complete success and become a milestone in the development of China-Pakistan relations.

The ambassador in an interview with APP, a day before the prime minister’s five-day visit from June 4-8, 2024 to China, said that all preparatory works had entered the final stage, and discussions on Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were in full progress.

At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang, Prime Minister Shehbaz will pay an official visit to China. This is his first visit to China after assuming the office this year.

Highlighting the components of the visit, he said the prime minister would meet and have talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji. The leaders will have an in-depth exchange of views on China-Pakistan relations and issues of mutual interest, and jointly draw up a blueprint for the growth of bilateral relations. In addition to Beijing, the prime minister will visit Guangdong and Shaanxi.

“China stands ready to work with Pakistan through this visit to make greater progress in our all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and take new steps in building of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era,” the envoy remarked.

Calling China and Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partners and ironclad friends, he said “Our friendship has stood the test of time and remained rock-solid and—to use a Chinese expression—“steady as Mount Tai.”

He said in recent years, both countries had close high-level exchanges, conducted fruitful and high-quality cooperation on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and maintained sound communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

Regarding CPEC, he said the landmark BRI project brought a total of US $25.4 billion in direct investment, 236000 jobs, 510km of highways, more than 8000 megawatts of electricity and 886km of core transmission network, generating a strong impetus to Pakistan’s economic and social development.

Under the second phase of CPEC, he said both countries would implement the important consensus reached by their leaders including the strengthening synergy of development strategies and policy coordination and accelerate progress on mega projects including upgradation of ML-1, the Gwadar Port and realignment of Karakoram Highway Phase II. Moreover, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in industry, agriculture, mining, new energy, information technology and other fields based on local conditions and further negotiate and promote trade liberalization.

“Looking forward to the second phase of CPEC, we are ready to work with Pakistan to … inject new impetus into China-Pakistan cooperation with China’s new development, and promote the in-depth integration of “5Cs” (5 Corridors: growth corridor, livelihood-enhancing corridor, innovation corridor, green corridor and open corridor) with “5Es” framework, to create an upgraded version of the CPEC and build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.”

He said that China was also ready to further promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with the Pakistani side, to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), and to make positive contributions to building an equal and orderly multi-polar world as well as a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization.

About the launch of Pakistan’s lunar mission ICUBE-Q satellite with Chinese cooperation, Ambassador Jiang Zaidong said that since May this year, China-Pakistan aerospace cooperation had achieved frequent success. A week after its launch, Pakistan’s ICUBE-Q successfully transmitted images from lunar orbit, marking Pakistan’s inaugural step from “zero to one” in deep space exploration and making Pakistan one of the few members of the “deep space club”.

He said that on May 30, Pakistan’s multi-mission communication satellite, PakSat MM1, was again successfully launched from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, which was on its way to the geostationary orbit and would bring revolutionary changes to Pakistan’s telecommunications, the internet, and television landscape, contributing to Digital Pakistan.

“We will enhance cooperation and knowledge transfer in more “down-to-earth” sectors such as agriculture, new energy, and information technology, to promote the building of upgraded version of CPEC, and constantly enrich the significance and practices of the China-Pakistan community with a shared future,” he resolved.

Discussing the security cooperation and efforts to thwart the enemy’s attempts to undermine peace, the envoy said that the Dasu terrorist attack on March 26 further necessitated a secure and stable environment for practical cooperation between China and Pakistan and the CPEC.

“So far in 2024, Pakistani security forces have collectively conducted 13,135 intelligence-based operations against terrorists and their facilitators, during which 249 terrorists were eliminated while 396 were arrested. Pakistan also has made great sacrifices, with two officers and 60 soldiers sacrificing their precious lives,” he said and highly appreciated Pakistan’s great efforts to protect the security of Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan over the years.

“Just as the foreign ministers of our two countries stressed… no attempt to undermine China-Pakistan cooperation will ever succeed…We hope and believe that Pakistan will continue to handle the follow-ups of the Dasu terrorist attack, step up efforts to combat terrorism, enhance the security of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects, and such kind of terrorist attack should never take place,” he remarked.

He said China would work with Pakistan to thoroughly implement the Global Security Initiative, promote all-weather strategic cooperative partnership into a more secure new stage, strengthen counter-terrorism security cooperation and unswervingly safeguard the common security.

Ambassador Jiang Zaidong said that China would also help Pakistan enhance its counter-terrorism capacity-building, jointly deal with the growing number of non-traditional security threats, and provide a reliable security guarantee for economic cooperation and common development between the two countries.

Commenting on the 75th anniversary of the founding of China, he said that during the period, the country had created two miracles – rapid economic growth and long-term social stability.

“Facing a new wave of technological revolution and industrial transformation, we adhere to the path of Chinese modernization, comprehensively promote high-quality development, accelerate the development of new quality productive forces, transform and upgrade traditional industries, cultivate and strengthen emerging industries, and lay out the construction of future-oriented industries.”

To a question, the ambassador said that the Pakistani government’s “5Es” framework not only met Pakistan’s current development needs, but also chimed with China’s approach of promoting high-quality development through new quality productive forces, which indicated that bilateral cooperation would yield more fruitful results.