— says China supports Pakistan core interests
From Mahnoor Makhdoom
BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday he was watching the situation in Kashmir and would support Pakistan in issues related to its core interests.
Xi told Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting in Beijing that the right and wrong of the situation was clear and added that Pakistan and India should resolve the dispute via peaceful dialogue, a report in Chinese media said.
Tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir have risen sharply since August 5 when New Delhi revoked the autonomy of occupied Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan rule in part and claim in full.
Xi is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi in Chennai later this week.
The meeting also involved discussions on multiple topics including bilateral relations, the current state of the region and security and other matters of mutual interest.
The premier thanked the Chinese president and the government for its principled stance on the Kashmir issue and specifically mentioned Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s statement on the issue at the United Nations.
Lauding China for supporting Pakistan on every forum, the prime minister also thanked President Xi and maintained that China had firmly stood by Pakistan in supporting Pakistan’s core national interests and played a major role in advancing Pakistan’s economy as well as national development goals.
He added that Beijing has supported Islamabad without any conditions.
“Prime Minister affirmed that speedy completion of CPEC projects was number one priority of his government and that CPEC, an integral part of President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative, would play a transformational role in accelerating Pakistan’s economic development and promoting regional connectivity and prosperity,” said a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The premier reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast support to China on all issues of its core interest.
“President Xi lauded Pakistan’s efforts in combatting terrorism and maintained that Pakistan through institutional and economic reforms was resolutely and promisingly on the way to substantial economic development,” added the statement.
PM Imran also congratulated the Chinese president on the country’s recent 70th anniversary. The Chinese leader appreciated PM Imran’s statements in regards to Pak-China relations at the UN and said both countries close relations.
Chief of the Army Staff General QamarJavedBajwa was also present during the meeting along with other civil and military leaders.
The prime minister also discussed the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on Tuesday, with an emphasis on the draconian clampdown by Indian forces following the illegal August 5 move.
The two countries also agreed during Tuesday’s meeting that the implementation of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would lead to more trade, economic and investment opportunities between the two countries.
Other areas of potential collaboration, which were discussed in the meeting, included railways, steel, oil and gas, industry and science and technology sectors. The bilateral talks were followed by a banquet hosted by Premier Li.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of various agreements and memorandum of understanding (MOUs) aimed at deepening Pakistan-China ties in a range of socio-economic sectors.