Friday, December 2, 2022

PM Shehbaz Sharif returns home after concluding China visit

PM Shehbaz Sharif returns home after concluding China visit

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has arrived in Pakistan after wrapping up his successful visit to China.

Earlier, upon his departure at Beijing Capital International airport, the prime minister and his delegation were seen off by the high-level Chinese authorities and officials of Pakistan embassy.

During the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's two-day visit to China, Pakistan and China have reaffirmed commitment to further strengthen and deepen bilateral All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and enhance practical cooperation in all areas. The statement said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held in-depth discussion with the Chinese leadership, including President and the prime minister, on the bilateral relations as well as regional situation and international political landscape. The two sides agreed on the importance of China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership amidst the emerging global challenges. The meetings were marked by traditional warmth, mutual strategic trust and commonality of views.

The Chinese leadership expressed condolences and sympathies on recent loss of life and property as a result of the unprecedented floods in Pakistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed appreciation for the timely and generous assistance extended by the government and people of China, including the provision of disaster relief supplies, the contributions of Chinese expert teams on post-disaster assessment and health care to assist with damage assessment, experience sharing in post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation, and post-disaster disease response to step up capacity of medical treatment.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed his Government's willingness to commit to high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and highlighted the salience of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under BRI, to Pakistan's economic and social development. Recognizing that ML-1 is a project of key significance under the CPEC framework and of importance to Pakistan's socio-economic development, the two sides agreed to build upon the leadership consensus and to advance the process of its earliest implementation. They also agreed to actively advance the Karachi Circular Railway, which was an urgent requirement for Pakistan's biggest city.

Recognizing the significance of the Gwadar port as the leading project of CPEC and an important node in cross regional connectivity, both sides expressed satisfaction on the completion of key projects and agreed to speed up progress on other related projects of the Gwadar port and free zone.

MOU

Acknowledging the massive size of China's e-commerce market and its potential to further bolster bilateral trade, the two sides welcomed the signing of an MOU on e-commerce and jointly supported the establishment of Pakistan's country pavilions on China's e-commerce platforms.

The two sides signed and concluded a number of agreements and MoUs, covering bilateral cooperation in areas of e-commerce, digital economy, export of agricultural product, financial cooperation, protection of cultural property, infrastructure, flood relief, post-disaster reconstruction, GDI, animal disease control, livelihood, cultural cooperation, space, geosciences as well as law enforcement and security.

The two sides further welcomed the decision to celebrate Pakistan-China Year of Tourism Exchanges in 2023 and the organization of a Gandhara Art Exhibition at the Palace Museum in Beijing in 2022-2023.

Kashmir issue

On Kashmir issue, the two sides reiterated that a peaceful and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties. They emphasized the importance of resolving all outstanding disputes through sincere dialogue. The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history that should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

Afghanistan

On Afghanistan, the two sides agreed that a peaceful, prosperous, interconnected and stable Afghanistan is fundamental to regional prosperity and progress. They expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the three Foreign Ministers' meetings of the six neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and looked forward to the next meeting to be held in Uzbekistan.

Floods

Regarding floods in Pakistan, the two sides recognized that the recent floods are closely linked to the adverse impact of climatic change for which developing countries bear little responsibility but are subject to a disproportionate impact. The two sides called on developed countries to fulfil their commitments, take the lead in emissions reduction to ensure the development rights and space for developing countries, and provide adequate climate financing to developing countries.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also welcomed President Xi to visit Pakistan. President Xi expressed that he would visit at his earliest convenience.