February 7, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the final day of his four-day visit to the neighbouring country.
In a tweet, PM Imran said he had a “great meeting” with the Chinese president.
“We agreed to further enhance our strategic and economic relations and to fast track the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” he said.
Had a great meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping today. We agreed to further enhance our strategic and economic relations; and to fast track the second phase of CPEC. pic.twitter.com/wbUbvGnXTN
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 6, 2022
According to a handout issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), PM Imran met the Chinese president at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.
“This was the first meeting of the two leaders since the prime minister’s visit to China in October 2019,” the statement said, adding that the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of Pakistan-China bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest “in a warm and cordial atmosphere”.
The premier congratulated the Chinese leadership for successfully hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and extended his best wishes on the Chinese Lunar New Year.
“The prime minister underscored that China was Pakistan’s steadfast partner, staunch supporter and iron brother. The all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China had withstood the tests of time and the two nations firmly stood side by side in realising their visions and shared aspirations of peace, stability, development and prosperity,” the statement said.
PM Imran also briefed the Chinese president on his geo-economics vision and the government’s policies for sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernisation and regional connectivity.
“He lauded China’s continued support and assistance to Pakistan’s socio-economic development which had greatly benefitted from the high quality development of CPEC. The prime minister welcomed increased Chinese investments in CPEC’s phase-II which centered on industrialisation and improving people’s livelihoods.”
The premier also shared his views on “growing polarisation in the world” which threatened to unravel global developmental gains and posed serious risks to developing countries.
PM Imran highlighted that challenges such as climate change, pandemics and growing inequalities could only by tackled through the cooperation of all nations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN charter.
“In this regard, he lauded President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road and Global Development Initiatives which called for collective action for sustainable development and win-win outcomes,” the statement said.
PM Imran also highlighted that Indian atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and the persecution of minorities in India were a threat to regional peace and stability. “He added that rapid militarisation of India was undermining regional stability,” the statement quoted him as saying.
The prime minister said that the partnership between Pakistan and China was an anchor for peace and stability in the region and thanked China for its unwavering support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national development.
“The prime minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to China on all issues of its core interest.”
Regarding Afghanistan, both leaders acknowledged that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would promote economic development and connectivity in the region and called on the international community to promptly assist the Afghan people in averting a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Both leaders appreciated the signing of a number of agreements covering industrial cooperation, space cooperation and vaccine cooperation. The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to building the Pakistan-China community for [a] shared future in the new era,” the statement said.
PM Imran also reiterated his invitation to President Xi to undertake a visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience.
During the meeting, Xi stressed that “the Chinese side firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and dignity, as well as in combating terrorism”, according to state media.
He added that China is willing to work with Pakistan in “aligning development strategies”.
Earlier today, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that PM Imran had left for the airport after meeting with the Chinese president.
وزیر اعظم عمران خان اور صدر شی کی جن پنگ کی ملاقات ختم ہو گئ ہے اور وزیر اعظم پاکستان روانگی کیلئےائرپورٹ کی طرف روانہ ہو چکے ہیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 6, 2022
FM Qureshi meets Chinese counterpart
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who accompanied the prime minister on his visit to Beijing, met with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
“The foreign minister congratulated his Chinese counterpart on the successful hosting of the Winter Olympics and conveyed his best wishes on the Chinese Lunar New Year. Recalling their last meeting in Chengdu for the third round of Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue, the foreign minister appreciated the measures taken by the two sides to strengthen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China,” the Foreign Office said.
Qureshi thanked the Chinese FM for the country’s firm support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national development and reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to China on all issues of its core interest.
He underlined that PM Imran’s face-to-face meetings with the Chinese leadership would provide fresh momentum to the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership, add new avenues to practical cooperation, spur high quality development of CPEC, including industrial development, and develop greater synergies between the visions of geo-economics and Global Development Initiative.
“The two foreign ministers also discussed the evolving situation in the region and beyond, in particular the grave humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,” the FO said.
Qureshi briefed the Chinese FM about the gross human rights violations in IIOJK and systemic assaults on the freedoms of minorities in India.
“On Afghanistan, both sides appreciated the important role played by the meeting of the six neighbouring countries in evolving regional consensus and looked forwarded to its third meeting to be held in China. It was agreed to maintain closer coordination to promote the shared objectives of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and regional connectivity,” the FO said.
Ministers tout PM’s ‘successful’ trip to China
Speaking to the media at Noor Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi, FM Qureshi and the information minister touted the success of PM Imran’s visit to China and the strong bond between the two countries.
The foreign minister recapped all the engagements during the trip. He said that the two countries were united on the Afghan issue, adding that China had acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
Qureshi said that a meeting of the “immediate neighbours of Afghanistan” would be held in China at the end of March. He said that the interim Afghan foreign minister would also be invited to the meeting.
Chaudhry termed the trip a success and also responded to criticism from opposition leaders regarding the Chinese deputy foreign minister receiving Pakistani officials at the airport.
“People who can’t even spell bilateral or multilateral unfortunately become experts of foreign affairs,” he said, adding that all world leaders that were in Beijing for the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics were received in the same manner.
Talking about the opening ceremony, the minister said that the Chinese people’s love for Pakistan was evident from the applause for the Pakistani team. He regretted the fact that winter sports had been largely ignored in the past and said that the government would introduce a framework in this regard.
Commenting on yesterday’s meeting between the top PPP and PML-N leadership, he said that “all the thieves gathered and made a pact which is nothing more than an attempt to hide their thievery”.
“Bilawal says he will take out a long march […] You are suffering under the illusion that you can take out a long march, you can’t even do a short march,” he said.