ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China signed 51 agreements on Monday during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to the country.
“We have resolved to continue to cooperate to fight terrorism,” PM Nawaz said, while addressing the media and top diplomats in Islamabad.
“I have assured Xi, China’s security is as important to us as Pakistan’s security,” he added.
Nawaz said the two countries have decided to increase regional and economic cooperation and signed 51 agreements in this regard.
“Friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.”
“We have taken a momentous decision that will raise Pakistan, China relations to new heights,” Nawaz said, referring to the agreements signed.
Nawaz added, “We have agreed to make coordinated efforts for peace and economic growth in the regions.”
Regarding the economic corridor, the premier said, “The economic corridor will benefit all provinces and areas of Pakistan.”
“It will enable China to create a shorter and cheaper route for trade with other countries,” he added.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chinese president said, “We held very fruitful talks and signed agreements.”
The Chinese president appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and welcomed Pakistan’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The Chinese president arrived at the Prime Minister House after receiving a rousing welcome at the Islamabad airport earlier today.
Xi is on a two-day state visit to Pakistan to sign a number of important agreements and MoUs worth $46 billion. The two countries are set to cooperate in gas, coal, and solar energy projects to provide 16,400 megawatts of electricity — roughly equivalent to the country’s entire current capacity.
Express News screengrab of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Eight MoUs were signed during the meeting pertaining to Chinese investment in the country.
Express News screengrab
During his meeting with the Chinese president, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is fully resolved to deepen its relations further with China.
“China is our trusted and close friend,” he added.
Nawaz said people of Pakistan were anxiously waiting for the visit of the Chinese President.
“We warmly welcome a great leader from our great friend.”
He also welcomed the first lady of China who is accompanying the President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese President said promotion of Pak-China relations is the joint heritage and bright future of the two countries.
“Strengthening of cooperation with Pakistan is part of the economic agenda of China,” the Chinese president said.
Jinping expressed confidence that implementation of the economic corridor would open a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries.
The Chinese president said he chose Pakistan as the first country to visit abroad during the current year.
Further, he thanked Pakistan for providing assistance in evacuation of stranded Chinese nationals in Yemen.
Upon arrival, a fleet of eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets received the President of People’s Republic of China and escort him to airport.
Express News screengrab of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets
A 21-gun salute was also presented to the honorable guest at the airport.
Xi Jinping walks with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel arrived at the airport to welcome the Chinese premier.
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Pakistan’s Army Chief Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: AFP
The Chinese president was accompanied by First Lady Madam Peng Liyuan, senior ministers, high-level functionaries of the Communist Party and senior government officials.
Chief executive officers from a wide spectrum of business houses of China also accompanied the president.
The entire route right from the airport to Constitution Avenue was decorated with colourful banners inscribed with slogans reading: “Long Live Pak-China Friendship”, “Pak-China Friendship Deeper than Oceans”, Brothers” “Pak-China partners in Peace and Development.”
Portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Mamnoon Hussain and PM Nawaz were on display on both sides of the route.
Horticulture Wing of Capital Development Authority was also tastefully decorated all the major avenues in the city with plantation of beautiful seasonal flowers, Radio Pakistan reported.
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they arrive at Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi PHOTO: AFP
President Mamnoon Hussain also hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting dignitary.
President Xi Jinping will be conferred the country’s highest civil award, the ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’ at a special investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Xi is the first Chinese head of state to visit Islamabad since 2006. He was originally scheduled to travel to Pakistan in September last year but cancelled his trip due to political unrest in the country.
‘Xi’s visit to usher a new era of development’
PM Nawaz said Chinese president’s visit will usher in a new era of development in Pakistan and open a new chapter in bilateral ties between the two countries.
The premier held separate meetings with top executives of three leading Chinese companies, including Huaneng Group, ICBC Corporation and Zonergy Corporation at the PM House today (April 20).
The prime minister said establishing linkages among the business communities of the two countries would further strengthen bilateral relations.
While welcoming the delegations to Pakistan, the premier appreciated efforts taken by the organisations to undertake various projects including Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.
PM Nawaz also said that Pakistan is facing an energy shortage and the government has made a commitment to nationals to overcome the shortage during his tenure.
“Therefore, I am emphasising on timely completion of these projects, particularly those related to the energy sector,” he added.
The premier said the government would provide all possible facilities to the Chinese companies.
“We will work with the organisations to remove any kind of obstacles affecting the completion of these planned projects,” he said.
PM Nawaz was also pleased to note that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the largest bank in the world, will look into the possibility of setting up economic zones in Pakistan and encourage Chinese businesses to invest there.
The Chinese executives extended their best wishes to the premier and government.
The members of the delegation also said that strong Pakistan-China friendship ties provide an excellent platform for increasing commercial activities between the two countries.
The federal minister for water and power, chief minister Punjab, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Secretary water and power were also in attendance.
Regarding the Chinese president’s visit, the Foreign Office said, Pakistan and China are ready to work together for peace and prosperity in South Asia.
Further, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam tweeted the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation and support the Afghan reconciliation process.