See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Pakistan-China meeting hints at reinforced ties

Pakistan – China Joint Statement speaks of expansion in ties, no mention of immediate support.


Written by

Updated: November 5, 2018

Ties between China and Pakistan will be significantly deepened across a range of areas, from economic and cultural cooperation to foreign policy in regional as well as global platforms, as per the Joint Statement issued on Sunday by both countries at the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to Beijing.

The statement, however, makes no mention of any ‘immediate support’for Pakistan.

Prior to their departure for the visit, the Pakistani delegation had talked of seeking balance of payments support from China through this visit, and Prime Minister Khan reiterated to journalists in Beijing on Thursday that he sought support to build foreign exchange reserves and assistance to avoid a possible International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Instead the statement only says that both sides will “maintain frequent exchange of visits and meetings at the leadership level” and further bilateral meeting will be held on the sidelines of major multilateral conferences and events.

“During his visit, H.E. Imran Khan called on H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China, held talks with H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier, and met with H.E. Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and H.E. Wang Qishan, Vice President of China respectively” the statement says, suggesting Premier Keqiang was the key point person in the talks with the Pakistani prime minister.

The PM also gave a speech at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and visited the First China International Import Expo held in Shanghai.

The statement hailed the ties between Pakistan and China, saying they had “withstood the test of time, notwithstanding the changes in domestic, regional and international environments.”

In deepening the ties further, the statement says the two countries will build on the China-Pakistan All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and the China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future, “in line with the principles set forth by the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-neighbourly Relations” that the two countries signed 2005.

“Both sides will continue to view China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective” the statement says at the outset as it starts to lay out the terms of the future cooperation both countries agreed to undertake.

The Chinese side also “appreciated Pakistan’s important role in promoting regional peace, stability and security and efforts for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues with its neighbours” the statement says, adding that China “supports Pakistan’s efforts for improvement of Pakistan-India relations and for settlement of outstanding disputes between the two countries.”

On the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both sides “expressed satisfaction that rapid progress has been made in all areas especially in the energy sector” and underlined “their complete consensus on the future trajectory of the CPEC”.

The language appears to be aimed at rolling back some of the PTI’s commitments to ‘review’ CPEC projects, as well as some of the criticism it has levelled at the energy projects in the past.

The Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), which is the steering arm of CPEC, will “explore new areas of cooperation” and its 8th session will be held in Beijing “before the end of the year”. The last session was held in Islamabad in November 2017, during which the Long Term Plan was finalised.

Both sides agreed to accelerate work on Gwadar and its auxiliary projects, as well dismissing “the growing negative propaganda against CPEC” while underscoring their “determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats.”

“The Chinese side expressed its appreciation for the measures taken for the security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan.”

The shape and direction of CPEC is now set to change, with a growing emphasis on “industrial capacity including through joint ventures in priority areas and relocation of labour-intensive industry and SMEs collaboration.”

The growing trade imbalance between Pakistan and China will be addressed through the second China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, which the two sides “agreed to conclude as early as possible” while continuing with discussions on an agreement on trade in services as well.

In addition, both sides also agreed to boost cooperation in a wide range of areas, including tourism, maritime issues, navigation security, marine economy, resources, research and environmental protection. In addition to marine economy, emerging technologies like nanotech, biotech and ICT will also see strengthened collaboration to increase their contribution in health, agriculture, water, energy and food security.

Space cooperation will also be promoted, building on the launch of Pakistan’s Remote Sensing Satellite earlier this year.

Cooperation will now be enhanced in areas like climate change, desertification control, desalination, water management, afforestation and ecological restoration, wetland protection and restoration, wildlife protection, forestry industry development, disaster management and risk reduction among others.

All these are areas of cooperation that were already agreed upon in earlier discussions with the Chinese side that ended with the finalisation of the LTP in November last year.

The Joint Statement shows that the evolution of CPEC has now come to a point where these cooperative steps are ready to be activated.

In addition, the statement points at social sector cooperation without giving many specifics, only to say areas like “agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation, safe drinking water and vocational training” will be increasing parts of the policy dialogue going forward.

Disease surveillance and control, as well as vaccine production and “traditional medicine” will also be part of the dialogue.

Both sides agreed to enhance people-to-people contacts, pointing at the 25,000 Pakistani students already enrolled in Chinese universities. “China will offer additional scholarships for Pakistani students” the statements says.

Cooperation in this area will go beyond to think tanks, vocational training, fellowships as well as “culture, arts, broadcasting, films, publication and sports”.

Both sides will discuss further collaboration in museums, and “the possibility to organise an Ancient Pakistan and Gandhara Artifacts Exhibition in Beijing.”

Defence and Security Cooperation

One of the most important areas of cooperation will be in future defence and security arrangements, where “[b]oth sides agreed to further enhance cooperation against ‘Three Evils’ of extremism, terrorism and separatism.”

“The Chinese side conveyed its support to Pakistan’s commitment and efforts to counter terrorism, assured Pakistan of its support in implementing its counter-terrorism strategy, and commended the tremendous sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation in fight against terrorism and for Pakistan’s immense contribution to regional and international peace and security through its achievements and successes,” the statement says.

Perhaps reflecting on the past meetings of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), where China withdrew its support for Pakistan abruptlyat a time when the grey listing of Pakistan’s financial system was under consideration, the statement suggests that the next meeting of FATF scheduled in November might be different.

“The Chinese side recognised Pakistan’s efforts in actively strengthening financial regulations to combat terrorism financing, and called on all relevant parties to view Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts in an objective and fair manner.”

At a later point, the statement goes a step further, adding that “both sides underscored the need for all States to avoid politicisation of the UN Sanctions regime and the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).”

For its part, Pakistan “reaffirmed its support to the Chinese side in safeguarding its sovereignty and security, and combating separatism, terrorism and extremism including East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).”

On Afghanistan, both sides underlined their continued support for an “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led” peace and reconciliation process.

“China appreciates that Pakistan and Afghanistan are coordinating closely through the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) to enhance cooperation between the two countries in all areas.”

Both sides also agreed on the importance of the tripartite foreign minister’s level talks between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, calling on Afghanistan to host the second round of the dialogue “within this year”.

Foreign policy cooperation

“The two sides underlined the importance of peaceful settlement of all disputes in the Middle East on the basis of mutual respect and in accordance to the precepts of international law.”

The statement also had words of support for Iran in its growing confrontation with the United States, which recently announced that it will disengage from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was agreed upon after 20 months of negotiations between the United States, European Union and other partners and Iran.

“The two sides agreed that JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateralism and a good model of negotiated settlement of complex issues through dialogue and diplomacy” the joint statement says.

“They called on parties to uphold their respective commitments and to resolve all issues through dialogue. They opposed unilateral measures and long-arm jurisdiction that is inconsistent with the principles of international law.”

On nuclear proliferation, China supported Pakistan’s “engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and welcomes its adherence to NSG guidelines.”

Both sides also agreed that they will “strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues of common interest” in all international and regional forums. The Pakistani PM invited the Chinese leadership to visit Pakistan “at a mutually convenient time”.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By The Korea Herald
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Dawn
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

China, US in constant touch to resolve trade issues

China and the United States are in constant touch to resolve pending trade and economic issues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The comment came ahead of Sunday’s US deadline for another scheduled round of tariff increases on Chinese imports worth almost $160 billion. If a trade deal is not struck by Sunday, computer monitors and toys will be among the Chinese export items likely to be affected. Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has already worked out tariff exemptions on some soybean, pork and other products shipped from the US — the latest sign of tensions easing in the protracted trade conflict. The US seems to resort to brinkmanship by using a tariff deadline to pressure China in the ongoing trade talks for a phase one, preliminary deal, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges


By China Daily
December 13, 2019