Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to discuss a variety of issues ranging from regional security to economic cooperation.
This was the first meeting of the two leaders since Khan’s visit to China in October 2019, said a statement from the Pakistani premier’s office.
Khan traveled to China on Thursday to attend the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Both leaders, the statement said, acknowledged that a “peaceful and stable” Afghanistan would promote economic development and connectivity in the region, urging the international community to promptly assist the Afghan people and avert a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the war-torn country.
“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,” it further said.
“The All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China has withstood the tests of times and the two nations firmly stood side by side in realizing their visions and shared aspirations of peace, stability, development and prosperity,” the statement added.
Khan lauded China’s continued support and assistance for Pakistan’s socioeconomic development, “which has greatly benefitted from the high-quality development of the multibillion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.”
He also welcomed increased Chinese investments in CPEC’s Phase-II, which is centered on industrialization and improving people’s livelihoods.
Sharing his views with President Xi on growing polarization in the world, Khan said the developments “threatened unraveling of global developmental gains, and posed serious risks to the developing countries.”
He stressed that “insurmountable” challenges such as climate change, health pandemics, and growing inequalities could only be tackled though “cooperation of all nations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”
Khan said “atrocities being perpetrated” in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, along with the “persecution of minorities in India” pose a “threat to regional peace and stability,” the statement added.
Rapid “militarization” of India is undermining regional stability, he added.
Khan said the partnership between Pakistan and China is “an anchor for peace and stability in the region,” thanking Beijing for its “unwavering” support to Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to China on all issues of its “core interest,” and renewed his invitation to Xi to visit Pakistan, the statement concluded.
Foreign ministers’ meeting
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss the “evolving situation” in the region and beyond, in particular the “grave humanitarian situation” in Afghanistan.
“On Afghanistan, both sides appreciated the important role played by the meeting of the six neighboring countries in evolving regional consensus and looked forwarded to its third meeting to be held in China,” read a statement from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
“It was agreed to maintain closer coordination to promote the shared objectives of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and regional connectivity.”
Qureshi said the Pakistani premier’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, (and) spur high-quality development of CPEC.”
He also briefed Wang on the “gross human rights violations” in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, and “systemic assaults on the freedoms of minorities in India,” the statement added.
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