Pakistan looks to ‘interested’ CPEC partners

Pak-China JWG-ICC appreciates inclusive nature of flagship project

Our Correspondent January 22, 2024

Pakistan on Monday reaffirmed the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in promoting sustainable development, emphasising upon welcoming interested third parties to explore the mutually beneficial avenues of cooperation.

Leading the Pakistani delegation at the fourth meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC), Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi noted that Pakistan and China were all-weather strategic cooperative partners.

The meeting in Islamabad was co-chaired by Secretary Qazi and visiting Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of China Sun Weidong, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The meeting exemplified the commitment of both the countries to foster international cooperation, including on CPEC, it said.

“The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed the importance of CPEC in promoting win-win cooperation and sustainable development. He also emphasised on welcoming interested third parties to explore mutually beneficial avenues of cooperation,” the statement read.

During the meeting both the sides “reviewed with satisfaction the progress made” since the third meeting of the JWG-ICC in July 2022.

They underscored CPEC's pioneering role in strengthening international and regional connectivity and appreciated the inclusive nature of the flagship project.

The two sides agreed to enhance focus on high-quality advancements in industry, agriculture, information technology, and science and technology, and ensuring tangible socioeconomic benefits for the people, according to the statement.

They rejected the disinformation campaigns and distorted reporting on CPEC, stressing the need for countering fallacious narratives and misinformation. The two sides reiterated their joint support for media and think tanks’ cooperation.

Also during the meeting, Pakistani and Chinese delegations agreed on sharing of best practices and generating an intellectual knowledge pool of CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) development through enhanced international communication and cooperation.

Later, Vice Foreign Minister Sun called on the civil military leadership in Islamabad.

He met separately with caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir, and caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Talking to the visiting Chinese minister, Prime Minister Kakar reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the success of CPEC, stressing the need for both sides to continue to work closely to ensure timely completion of the ongoing projects.

In addition to Pakistan-China relations, the regional situation also came under discussion during the meeting.

The Chinese minister briefed the prime minister regarding various meetings held during the visit.
He said that China would always remain a reliable partner in Pakistan's socioeconomic progress.
In his meeting with the army chief at the General Headquarters (GHQ), Sun discussed matters of mutual interest and measures to further enhance bilateral defence cooperation, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

It stated that the Chinese diplomat reiterated the strong and enduring nature of the strategic partnership between Pakistan and China and acknowledged Pakistan's efforts in promoting regional peace and stability.

He expressed China's satisfaction with the security arrangements for the CPEC projects.

In response, the army chief expressed gratitude for the warm remarks from the visiting dignitary.

He emphasised that the relations between Pakistan and China were based on a shared understanding of the importance of regional peace, stability, and prosperity for the people of both the countries, the ISPR said.

Meanwhile, Sun called on Foreign Minister Jilani and held in-depth discussion on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

On the occasion, Jilani commended China’s unflinching support to Pakistan on all issues.

Expressing satisfaction at the steady development of CPEC, Jilani emphasised the significance of the flagship project for Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan would continue its efforts for the realisation of CPEC’s full potential for shared benefits. (WITH INPUT FROM APP)


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