Pakistan committed to CPEC’s timely completion, China told

-PM assures secure environment to Chinese investors in telephonic talks with Chinese counterpart
-Li says China will always stand in solidarity with Pakistan
-Expresses good wishes for success of Climate Conference to be chaired by Pakistan in Geneva
-Shehbaz, Premier Li also exchanged New Year greetings

By Mahnoor Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wherein he emphasized Pakistan’s unswerving focus on timely progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Cor-ridor (CPEC) projects.
During the “comprehensive telephone conversation,” the prime minister assured the Chinese Premier that Pakistan would provide a completely secure and conducive business environment for Chinese investors.
“The two leaders’ discussion was characterized by warmth and cordiality, in keeping with the best traditions of the Pa-kistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership,” a PM Office statement said. Prime Minister Shehbaz and Premier Li exchanged New Year greetings, noting that bilateral relations had grown to new heights in 2022, and agreeing to maintain the steady momentum of bilateral cooperation in 2023.
Recalling his visit to China in November 2022 and wide-ranging conversations with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li, the prime minister underscored Pakistan’s commitment to fostering closer relations with China.
He reiterated Pakistan’s unstinting support on China’s core interests. Both the leaders also discussed regional issues of mutual interest. Premier Li Keqiang assured the prime minister that China viewed Pakistan not only as a strategic friend but as a coun-try whose stability and economic welfare was of utmost importance to the region and to China.
China would always stand in solidarity with Pakistan, Premier Li added. Noting the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan being held in Geneva on January 9, PM Shehbaz briefed Premier Li on the latest progress in post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation in Pakistan.
He conveyed Pakistan’s profound gratitude for China’s prompt and generous support for the flood-affected people. Premier Li assured the prime minister of China’s continued support for Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and the suc-cess of the Conference.
Both leaders agreed to maintain close communication to fast-track the bilateral cooperation agenda for mutual benefit of the peoples of Pakistan and China in 2023 and beyond.