BEIJING, Nov 3 :(Aitizaz Hasan) China and Pakistan Saturday signed 16 bilateral agreements in the fields of economic and technical cooperation, agriculture, poverty reduction, science and technology, innovation and combating drug trafficking besides establishment of joint research center on earth sciences , joint working group on social and livelihood affairs.
Both the countries also signed letters on foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue mechanism to make overall planning and coordinate cooperation in various fields.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremony while the foreign ministers of both the countries and the concerned ministers and high-level officials of two countries signed the agreements and letters.
Later, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou while briefing media said that the two sides had agreed to firmly move forward the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while ensuring the smooth operation of completed projects and advancing the ongoing projects.
“The two sides will gradually brand dimensions of industrial cooperation to the CPEC, and extend it to other parts of Pakistan so that it will drive all round development of China-Pakistan economic cooperation,” he added.
Ruling out any change in the number of projects under the CPEC, he said that there had been no change in the number of projects under this framework, adding, “If there will be any change, it will be increase in number of projects and going forward.”
The Vice FM said that the two countries had decided to establish working group on social and livelihood affairs under the CPEC joint cooperation committee.
He said the two sides would also engage in close cooperation in extensive areas covering economy, trade, science and technology, cultural affairs, education and youth affairs.
Kong remarked that the two countries would also strengthen their communication and coordination on regional and global affairs in addition in response to current economic and fiscal difficulties Pakistan faces at the moment, adding, “China will provide help and assistance within the realm of its capability.”
He said during the meeting, the two sides had made it clear in principle that China government would provide necessary support and assistance to Pakistan in tiding over the current economic difficulties as to the specific measures to be taken, the competent authorities of the two countries would have detailed discussions.
The Vice Foreign Minister said he believed all these activities and number of agreements signed today fully showed that this had been a smooth and a successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China.
In the meetings and talks, the Chinese side expressed congratulation for successful holding of general elections in Pakistan as well as smooth transfer of power. China believed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government, the Pakistani people would make new achievements in its path of national development, he added.
He said that as Pakistan’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner, China has always viewed its relations with Pakistan from its strategic and long-term perspective.
“China will continue to put its relations with Pakistan on priority place and on China’s diplomatic agenda and we will continue to do what we can to provide help to Pakistan for its economic and social development,” he added.
He said that Pakistani side reiterated that Pakistan’s relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan foreign policy and Pakistan remained committed to the friendship between the tow countries and committed to advancing the CPEC.
“Pakistan hopes to learn from China’s successful experience of the development so that the friendship and cooperation between our two countries will deliver greater benefits to both the countries and people and the wider region,” he added.
The Vice Foreign Minister said that leaders of the two countries made further plans for growth of their bilateral relations moving forward and also vowed to maintain high level engagements, strengthen strategic communication, preserve and promote common interest.
He said that Pakistan had a smooth transfer of power and entered a new stage of economic and social development under the new prime minister.
He said it was fair to say that current China-Pakistan relationship were at new starting point and needed new dynamics against backdrop of prime minister Imran Khan’s visit which was highly significant.
“Both sides have attached a high importance to this visit and hope that by working together they will be able to achieve good progress and identify the goals and orientation of China-Pakistan relations in next stage,” he added.