Chinese PM reiterates support for Pakistan on Kashmir dispute

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Xi calls for boosting CPEC constructionNawaz highlights govt’s achievements, efforts for CPEC implementation; Agreements signed for Gwadar port development, East Bay expressway, upgradation of railway track

Sana Rashid

Beijing

President Xi Jinping during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Saturday assured support of his country for socio-economic development of Pakistan, through CPEC and Belt and Road’s initiative.
He welcomed the prime minister and his delegation for attending the Belt and Road’s international cooperation Forum and said China attaches high importance to decades’ old strategic all-round partnership with Pakistan.
President Jinping also called for pushing forward the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He made the remarks in his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who along with a high-level delegation is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum, which is focused on boosting regional development through China’s new Silk Road plan.
The Chinese president welcomed Nawaz Sharif and his delegation upon their arrival at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
President Xi in his meeting with Sharif expressed satisfaction over the pace of bilateral Sino-Pak ties and communicated his resolve to further strengthen the relationship through increased cooperation in various fields.
Pakistan and China have more potential to cement bilateral cooperation regarding implementation of CPEC and other regional connectivity projects, Xi said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who attended the meeting along with the four chief ministers, said Pakistan would support China in the promotion of its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.
He said CPEC is a core component of OBOR plan, and the Pakistani government is making “strenuous efforts” for speedy implementation of CPEC projects.
He congratulated the Chinese president on hosting the Belt and Road Forum, saying the participation of a large number of world leaders in the summit is a “testimony of China’s growing stature in the international community”.
Talking on the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government was making all out efforts for active implementation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor though it had made good progress in execution of energy and infrastructure projects.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a core component of your visionary initiative of the “One Belt-One Road.” We sincerely appreciate your commitment and leadership for the realisation of CPEC projects,” the prime minister remarked in his meeting with President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guest House on the sidelines of the ‘Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.’
President Xi Jinping was also accompanied by his high level nine-member delegation.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the composition of his delegation represented the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.
“The presence of all four provincial chief ministers symbolises the broad-based support in Pakistan for cooperation with China and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he remarked.
The prime minister congratulated President Xi on successful holding of the Belt and Road Forum and said that the participation of a large number of world leaders in Chinese capital was a testimony of his leadership and China’s growing stature in the international community.
The prime minister said Pakistan-China friendship enjoyed popular support in Pakistan and high-level exchanges were indicative of the bilateral fast-growing bilateral relations.
However, he also stressed the need to sustain the momentum with a view to further strengthening of this relationship.
Earlier, during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang reiterated that China is standing by Pakistan and will continue to extend moral and diplomatic support at every forum.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment for completion of early harvest projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Nawaz Sharif felicitated the Chinese premier for organizing the One Belt and One Road Forum and said Pakistan considers China as the most important friend and fully supports the Chinese vision of One Belt One Road.
After the meeting, both sides signed a series of agreements for cooperation in different sectors.
The first MoU was related to cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road initiative. Another MoU was also signed on upgradation of main railway line track ML-I and establishment of Havelian Dry Port.
Three agreements were pertaining to economic and technical cooperation worth 3.4 billion Yuan for Gwadar port and East Bay expressway. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chinese premier Li Keqiang. Federal Ministers, Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Chief Ministers of all four provinces were also present on the occasion.
Later talking to newsmen Nawaz Sharif said China was supportive of Pakistan’s stance on the issue of Kashmir and favoured its resolution through peaceful dialogue.
“On Kashmir issue, China has always been supportive of Pakistan’s stance and has assured to continue extending the same cooperation in future as well,” the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said both Pakistan and China favoured negotiations with India as the “most viable solution to the Kashmir dispute.”

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