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May 27, 2019

China will always stand by Pakistan’s core interests: Wang

Top Story

May 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan has said that Pakistan and China stand by each other’s core interests and the spirit of the Silk Road binds the two countries together with a common heritage and history.

“No matter how the international landscape changes, China will always stand by Pakistan’s core interests, and both Pakistan and China have made the right choice based on equality and mutual benefit,” said Wang Qishan at his first engagement upon his arrival in Pakistan at a well-attended function organised by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) under the banner of “Friends of Silk Road”, a people’s platform linking communities, different segments of society, academia, media and think-tanks at a grass roots level. The Chinese vice president said China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and both hope and support each other in achieving greater development.

He also referred to the international situation and said that despite challenges, the way forward is globalisation, free trade and people-to-people connectivity. He also appreciated the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that the second phase of CPEC would even bring more benefits for both Pakistan and China. He said as a major pilot programme of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC has come a long way over the last five years and more.

“With the BRI moving towards high quality development, CPEC is rapidly extending to new priority areas including industrial parks and people’s livelihood,” he said.

The Chinese vice president said he was confident that with the two sides working together, CPEC will produce new outcomes and lend new impetus to the economic and social development of Pakistan and economic integration of the region. He said for China it cannot achieve development by shutting out the world.

“Likewise, the world cannot shut out China, the second largest economy and market of 1.4 billion people guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” he said.

Wang said China is committed to open green and clean cooperation that follows a high slandered, people-cantered and sustainable approach. “Such Belt and Road cooperation is in fact China’s proposal for addressing the common challenges of the human society,” he said.

Wang thanked Senator Mushahid Hussain, the Chairman of the PCI and Chairman of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee for hosting this event, which brought together a galaxy of political leaders, senators, MNAs from all political parties and provinces plus youth and women activists, civil society, think-tanks, scholars, intellectuals, artists and business leaders.

“I know that you come from different regions, parties and industries across Pakistan, but you have one thing in common, you are all friends of the Silk Road with a shared objective of advancing Belt and Road cooperation and CPEC,” he said.

He said that to uphold China-Pakistan leadership and support CPEC is a consensus that transcends political parties, regions and communities across Pakistan. “It also enjoys the extensive and strongest support in China,” he said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warmly welcomed the VP and referred to CPEC as a binding force between Pakistani and China, citing the recent visit of Prime Minister to China for the Belt and Road Forum, and he praised CPEC for contributing to the progress of Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan and China are most reliable and trusted partners and friends. “Friendship between our two countries firmly rooted in shared values, experiences, objectives and aspirants of peace, harmony and shared prosperity,” he said.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Pakistan and China believe in promoting collective dialogue, deepening practical cooperation and working together towards a stronger and prosperous world with a shared future in the new era.

The minister said CPEC has added yet another dimension of economic and social development to stronger relations and CPEC has entered into new with a focus on industrial and socio-economic cooperation. “This phase will bring out prosperity and progress to local communities and pave the way of enhancing Pakistan’s development along priority areas,” he said.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said that China is Pakistan’s time-tested friend and an “iron-brother,” and “the people of Pakistan are proud of their friendship with China.”

He also welcomed and endorsed the initiative of President Xi Jinping for organising the dialogue of Asian civilisations, and said that cooperation, not confrontation, is the way forward for Asia.

In his welcome address, Senator Mushahid Hussain said the presence of political leaders from all parties and provinces in this gathering is an affirmation of the consensus enjoyed by CPEC across the board since it is a guarantor of a better tomorrow for Pakistan and its people.

He also referred to the conference on CPEC convened in Beijing in March, where 50 representatives of 10 political parties took part and issued a “Beijing Declaration” affirming their support for CPEC.

Mushahid Hussain congratulated Wang on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in which China had achievements in economy, especially lifting 750 million people out of poverty, pursuing a model foreign policy of non-interference in internal affairs and respecting countries, irrespective of size or strength, and promoting cultural connectivity at a people to people level,” he said.

Ambassador of China Yao Jing was also present on the podium and the audience included the Leader of the House in the Senate, Senator Shibli Faraz, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri as well as federal ministers Azam Swati, Shaharyar Afridi and a large number of senators and MNAs from the PML-N, PTI, PPP, ANP, BNP Mengal, Fata and the Balochistan Awami Party.