PM’s China visit fosters economic cooperation, musters support on Kashmir

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BEIJING, May 23 (APP): The recent visit of Prime Minister Muhammad
Nawaz Sharif to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum has helped
further promote economic cooperation between China and Pakistan, and mustered support of the Chinese leadership on Pakistan’s stance over
the Kashmir issue.
After his arrival in the Chinese capital, the prime minister held
important meetings with the top Chinese leadership.
President Xi Jinping, in his meeting with Nawaz Sharif on the
sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
hosted by the Chinese government on May 14-15, expressed satisfaction
over the pace of growing bilateral ties and resolved to cement the
same further by enhancing cooperation in multiple spheres.
Welcoming the prime minister and his delegation, the Chinese
president said the two countries had more potential to strengthen
bilateral cooperation vis-a-vis implementation of the China Pakistan
Economic Cooperation (CPEC) and other regional connectivity projects.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, in his meeting with Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Peoples Great Hall, extended support
to Pakistan’s stance on the issue of Kashmir and favoured its
resolution through peaceful dialogue.
“On the 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 informed the
media after meeting with his Chinese counterpart.
The prime minister along with his Chinese counterpart also
witnessed the signing of six accords of cooperation between China
and Pakistan in diverse fields, including a framework agreement
on up-gradation of Main Line-1 rail track and establishment of a
dry port at Havelian.
A spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also
made a statement about the prime minister and expressed the
confidence that Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China and his participation
in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation would boost
the ongoing economic cooperation between China and Pakistan, and
further promote ‘Belt and Road Initiative.
“Pakistan is an important partner of China in promoting One Belt
One Road Initiative and we believe that Prime Minister Sharif’s visit
and his attendance at the forum will give a boost to our cooperation
in the relevant fields,” Geng Shuang said during his regular press
The spokesperson said as an organizer and host of the forum,
China would warmly welcome all the guests from around the world,
including Pakistan.
He said the CPEC was a premier and pilot project of the One
Belt One Road Initiative and progress had already made in that
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong also said China was
ready to work closely with Pakistan for further promoting
substantial and overall cooperation to bring benefits for
the people of two countries and other regions.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is playing a pivotal
role and has become the flagship project of the Belt and Road
Initiative,” he said while talking to APP after the plenary session
of high level dialogue held at China National Convention Center
The ambassador said both China and Pakistan were all weather
strategic partners and working together for the success of CPEC.
Terming the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) an important opportunity
for all the countries along the belt and road, he said the forum
had provided an opportunity to those countries to sit together for
common and shared development and win-win cooperation.
“We are glad to see that a large number of countries and
international organizations, heads of state and government have
come to attend this show,” he added.
Ambassador Sun opined that the Belt and Road Forum provided
a historic opportunity to all the countries to discuss ways and
means to seek a community for the shared destiny and the mutual
The Chinese electronic and print media also accorded extensive
and prominent coverage to participation of Prime Minister Muhammad
Nawaz Sharif in the forum.
English and Chinese languages television channels, especially
China Global Television Network (CGTN), CCTV and BT, evinced keen
interest in the official engagements of the prime minister and
showed several footages in the news and other programmes.
Besides, China Radio International (CRI), the prominent
newspapers including Peoples’ Daily, Global Times, China Daily,
Beijing Review and Shanghai Daily, carried stories and analysis
highlighting the active participation of the prime minister in
the forum.
PM Nawaz Sharif gave an interview to ‘China Youth Daily’ and
said Pakistan was a proud partner of China in the construction
of CPEC project.
After two years’ full cooperation between the two countries,
the project was turning out to be an important model of transnational
cooperation for improvement of living conditions of countries along
the “One Belt and One Road”, he pointed out.
The prime minister told the BRF platform that with 29 heads of
states and governments and 1,500 delegates in attendance that peace
and development go hand in hand, and nothing can pave the path for
peace and security more than economic development achieved through
regional collaboration.
He said OBOR connected Asia, Africa and Europe, besides covering
half of the world population, half of its resources, and 65 countries.
International investors from all over were pouring their resources
into it.
The prime minister urged the audience to sustain the OBOR with
full vigour and robust political will. “Let OBOR become a metaphor
for a new, mature, resilient and cooperative world.”
On the last day of the forum, PM Nawaz Sharif participated in the
Leaders’ Roundtable sessions, focusing on closer partnership for inter-connected development held at the Yanki Lake International
Conference Centre.
The prime minister along with Chinese President Xi Jinping and
other heads of the state and government also attended the working
lunch on the second day of the BRF Forum where they exchanged
views on the One Belt, One Road project.
In his statement at the first session of Leader’s Roundtable,
themed ‘Policy Synergy for Closer Partnership’ held at Yanqi Lake,
Nawaz Sharif said OBOR Initiative would help overcome threats of
terrorism, refugee movements, food and water security in the
In his remarks following the Joint Communiqu’ at the conclusion
of the forum, the prime minister said Pakistan had started reaping
the early benefits of the CPEC under the initiative of One Belt,
One Road (OBOR) for interconnected development.
The CPEC had not only addressed some of the critical needs of
Pakistan’s economy, but also started creating supply and logistic
chains as well as manufacturing networks, which was having a transformational impact on the lives of people, he added.
He said connectivity was not just about connected countries and
businesses, but mainly about connected peoples and nations.
The prime minister congratulated President Xi Jinping for the
initiative of “One Belt-One Road” and commended the tremendous
efforts of his government and people for making the forum an
historic global event.
He also held meetings with world leaders during his visit.
During his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
both the leaders discussed issues of bilateral interests and
exchanged views on matters of regional and international
Nawaz Sharif and Erdogan emphasized to further enhance
bilateral relations by increasing cooperation in multiple
PM Nawaz Sharif, in his meeting with President of Vietnam
Tran Dai Quang, said Pakistan considered Vietnam as an important
country of the region and wanted to maintain economic and
political relationship with it.
The prime minister stressed the need for the two countries
to strengthen and explore their business and investment
He expressed satisfaction over the bilateral political
consultation and working of Joint Ministerial Commission and
Joint Trade Commission between the two countries. He invited
the Vietnamese President to visit Pakistan, which the latter
PM Nawaz Sharif met Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam
Desalegn and discussed matters of mutual interests and bilateral
issues and emphasized to further enhance the bilateral ties by
promoting cooperation between the two countries in multiple
The Ethiopian prime minister expressed the interest to
cooperate with Pakistan in sharing experiences on development
The prime minister and President of Belarus Alexander
Lukashenko discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral
ties and focused on increasing trade between the two countries.