Pakistan, China urge united global response to COVID-19

Alvi meets Chinese President Xi, Premier Li and others during two-day Beijing visit

APP March 17, 2020
President lauds relentless efforts undertaken by China for containing and controlling coronavirus. PHOTO: NNI

BEIJING: Pakistan and China on Tuesday underlined that coronavirus was a common challenge for the entire humanity and called for all the countries around the world to “unite and cooperate” to overcome this challenge together.

According to a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the visit of President Arif Alvi to Beijing, China recognised measures taken by Pakistan to combat terrorism financing and appreciated the resolve with which Pakistan implemented the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The statement said that Beijing reiterated that the Kashmir issue should be resolved properly and peacefully based on the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and bilateral agreement and “opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation”.

Alvi reached Beijing on Monday on a two-day visit to convey support and solidarity of Pakistan to the government and the people of China in the efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus – COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the president met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, National People’s Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu and others for bilateral talks. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Planning Minister Asad Umar.

During the visit, both the sides also signed a number of memorandums of understanding and handing-over certificates of donated vaccine refrigeration equipment, emergency humanitarian materials for epidemic response and emergency materials of epidemic control.

The joint statement said that China had made major progress in control of coronavirus and would win this “people’s war” against it, adding that both sides underlined that COVID-19 “was a common challenge for the humanity and all countries should unite to overcome this challenge together”.

Earlier, talking to President Alvi at the Great Hall of the People, President Xi said that the Chinese people were “striving for the final victory” against the coronavirus. He praised Alvi for his visit, saying his presence in China was “expression of a firm support to us”.

Alvi said that China had shown to the world its ability to handle the challenge and had set an example for other countries, which were now facing the coronavirus outbreak. “Pakistan stands shoulder to shoulder with China during this challenging time,” he added.

Premier Li also thanked Pakistan for the all-out support to China during testing times. “Not only we need to enhance our cooperation to jointly fight challenges but we must also work to demonstrate our firm commitment for a multifaceted cooperation with the international community,” he added.

The joint statement said both sides exchanged views on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Pakistan side briefed the Chinese leadership on the latest developments, including its concerns, position, and current urgent issues.

China reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and bilateral agreement, the statement said. “China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation,” it added.

The two countries maintained that a new phase of high-quality development of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would promote industrialisation and socio-economic development in Pakistan.

Both sides stressed that the economic and social impact of CPEC on the region will be substantial and beneficial and hoped that the international community will support such efforts that underpin economic development.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “China recognised measures taken by Pakistan to combat terrorism financing and appreciated the resolve with which Pakistan implemented the Action Plan of FATF,” the statement said.

According to the joint statement, both Pakistan and China welcomed the signing of the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban in Doha last month and expressed the hope that the intra-Afghan negotiations would be the next logical step.

“The two sides agreed that all Afghan parties must seize this historic opportunity and work together constructively to secure durable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” it said. They urged the international community to extend support for post-conflict development in Afghanistan.

Pakistan underscored the need for assisting the Afghan government in creating an enabling environment and instituting “pull” factors to enable the Afghan refugees to return to their homeland with dignity and honour.

During the bilateral talks, the Chinese leadership noted that President Alvi’s first visit to Beijing was a singular expression of Pakistan’s solidarity with its “iron brother.” President Xi thanked Alvi for visiting China at a critical time and expressed profound gratitude for Pakistan’s gesture of support.

Alvi appreciated China’s keen resolve to look after Pakistan’s nationals during this difficult time. He spoke highly of China’s major progress in battling the epidemic, and acknowledged that China’s efforts had won time and set a model for the rest of the world to combat the epidemic.

Both sides reaffirmed their support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests. The Chinese side reiterated solidarity with Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty, independence and security. The Pakistan side reaffirmed its commitment to the One-China Policy.

During the visit, President Alvi and President Xi witnessed the signing ceremony of cooperation documents between China and Pakistan and exchanged notes regarding cash donation for epidemic prevention hospital between China and Pakistan.

An MoU was signed for setting up a joint technology and agriculture working groups in CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee. Another MoU was signed on strengthening of cooperation on pest and disease control between the Chinese agriculture ministry, and Pakistan’s food security ministry.

(With input from News Desk.)


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