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Pakistan and China Strengthen All-Weather Strategic Partnership

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Beijing, 20 October 2023 (WAI): Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaar ul Haq Kakar visited China from October 16 to 20, 2023. The visit followed President Xi Jinping’s invitation to the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar in Beijing, and the Prime Minister also met with Premier Li Qiang and Mr. Li Xi, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

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The leaders had fruitful conversations about deepening the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, expanding practical cooperation in numerous fields, and tackling global and regional challenges of shared concern. Both sides reiterated the importance of mutual trust in the China-Pakistan relationship.

China and Pakistan reaffirmed their dedication to the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and their status as “iron brothers.” Both countries recognized the historical strength and resilience of their association. Pakistan emphasized that its partnership with China continues to be the cornerstone of its foreign policy. At the same time, China underlined its commitment to maintaining the China-Pakistan relationship as a priority in its foreign policy. Both nations are committed to strengthening their partnership based on a long-term, strategic perspective and advancing the establishment of a closer China-Pakistan Community with a Shared Future in the new era.

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The two countries pledged unshakable support for each other’s fundamental interests and main concerns. Pakistan reaffirmed its steadfast support for the One-China Principle and opposed any form of “Taiwan independence.” In turn, China has backed Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, as well as its economic development strategy, counter-terrorism operations, and engagement in regional and international affairs.

Pakistan congratulated China on successfully organizing the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. China praised Pakistan’s sustained and active support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Both countries recognized the BRI’s contribution to global economic growth and international economic cooperation. They agreed to work together more closely within the framework of the BRI for peace, development, and mutual benefit.

Both countries acknowledged the tremendous progress made in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the last decade. They pledged to transform CPEC into a growth corridor, a livelihood corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor, and an open corridor, making it a model project for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

China and Pakistan agreed to accelerate the development of Gwadar Port and its associated projects, emphasizing the port’s importance as a crucial node for cross-regional connectivity. They discussed the development of numerous Gwadar projects, such as the desalination plant, the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), and the Pak-China Friendship Hospital. They reinforced their commitment to transforming Gwadar into an excellent port, a central trade hub, and a connecting point.

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The two countries recognized the importance of the ML-1 upgrade as part of CPEC and committed to its early deployment. Additionally, they agreed to hasten the project’s implementation for the Raikot-Thakot segment of the Karakoram Highway realignment.

Under the CPEC framework, China and Pakistan agreed to begin preparatory work on the D.I. Khan-Zhob Road Project, emphasizing improving connectivity and socioeconomic growth in Pakistan.

China appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to promote photovoltaic and other renewable energy projects. Both sides encouraged Chinese enterprises to join in such projects based on conventional commercial principles to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

The two countries agreed to actively promote the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation to help Pakistan’s industrialization. They applauded Chinese companies’ interest in developing manufacturing plants in Pakistan. CPEC was reaffirmed as an open and inclusive platform for win-win collaboration, with third-party participation in essential areas, including industry, agriculture, ICT, science, and technology, welcomed.

China and Pakistan sought to improve mining industry cooperation by conducting geological surveys, conducting cooperative research on geology and minerals, training talent, and constructing mining industrial parks.

After acknowledging the potential for agricultural cooperation, the two sides agreed to increase collaboration in agrarian mechanization, crop cultivation, disease prevention and control, technology exchange, and trade of farm goods.

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China and Pakistan vowed to step up their collaboration in the IT sector. They underlined the necessity of developing digital infrastructure, increasing cooperation in cutting-edge technologies, and strengthening capacity building for information technology services to foster high-quality development of the digital economy.

The two countries were pleased with the favorable outcomes of the CPEC Working Group on Socioeconomic Cooperation. Chinese officials appreciated Pakistan’s post-flood reconstruction efforts and committed to supporting efforts to improve people’s livelihoods and post-disaster recovery, concentrating on successful livelihood assistance initiatives.

China stated that it would assist Pakistan in increasing its exports to China under the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement. Pakistan encouraged Chinese investment and notified Chinese investors about steps to improve the investment climate, such as establishing the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

To promote B2B connections, China and Pakistan pledged to increase commercial relations. They decided to support bilateral interactions among people.

Both countries welcomed the signing of agreements for selling hot beef and dried chiles from Pakistan to China and access to the Chinese market for Pakistani fresh cherries, dairy goods, and animal hides. China welcomed more qualified Pakistani businesses and high-quality goods into its market.

Both nations declared that the Khunjerab pass will be open throughout the year in recognition of its significance in fostering bilateral trade and intercultural interactions. They consented to expand infrastructure development and pass administration to better travel circumstances.

The two countries were pleased with the progress made in currency swap agreements and Renminbi settlement and clearing, and they vowed to strengthen financial and banking cooperation. Pakistan expressed gratitude to China for helping it in the financial industry.

China and Pakistan expressed their strong determination to promote space cooperation, focusing on space science, technology, and application. They were delighted with the progress made in the International Lunar Research Station and hoped to take the lead in advanced space missions for the sake of humanity and civilization.

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Pakistan informed China of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and China emphasized the need to resolve the long-standing dispute peacefully under international standards and bilateral accords.

Both countries condemned terrorism and committed to strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation to promote global peace and security. Pakistan pledged to punish those responsible for terrorist attacks accountable and assured the safety and security of Chinese workers and projects.

Both sides applauded the increased cultural collaboration during the Year of the China-Pakistan Tourism Exchanges. They decided to continue strengthening tourism exchanges.

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China and Pakistan expressed gratitude for their armed forces’ strong coordination and communication. They stressed the value of cooperation in strategic defense and security in fostering regional peace and stability.

Both countries reiterated their dedication to multilateralism, the UN Charter, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom.

Pakistan agreed with China’s transparency, regional connectivity, economic integration, and technology transfer objectives. The two sides agreed to strengthen collaboration within the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative to promote development, security, and cultural prosperity.

China and Pakistan promised to improve their collaboration in Afghanistan to support regional peace and stability.

Both governments are worried about the ongoing tensions and violence in Palestine and Israel. They demanded an immediate cease-fire and emphasized the significance of implementing the two-state solution to achieve long-term peace.

Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar expressed gratitude to China for its hospitality and invited President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan soon.

During the visit, China and Pakistan signed 20 agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) covering a wide range of topics, including the Belt and Road Initiative, infrastructure, mining, industry, green development, health, space, digital economy, development, and agricultural product exports to China.

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