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October 10, 2019

China visit aimed at taking each other into confidence: FM

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October 10, 2019

BEIJING/NEW DELHI: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his talk to the media regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China revealed that both countries since August 16 have moved ahead with a joint strategy.

The foreign minister pointed out that Pakistan and China had adopted a joint approach during a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. He mentioned that during the current visit of PM Imran Khan both countries agreed to enhance cooperation in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) trade and economic affairs. Qureshi further revealed that leadership of both states also discussed longstanding Kashmir dispute and regional security issues.

Pakistan has shared with China its assessment and feedback from Indian occupied Kashmir. He affirmed that it was important to meet Chinese leadership ahead of President Xi Jinping’s brief visit to India.

China and Pakistan have clear stance on the dispute of Kashmir. China has supported Pakistan’s historic stance on it. The nature of relations between both countries is such that they take each other into confidence at every turn, he said.

While talking to the media at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, Qureshi said both sides discussed the Afghan peace process. He said China, Russia and other countries want peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and development and prosperity in the entire region. For this Pakistan is playing an active role.

Regarding facilities to potential Chinese investors and entrepreneurs, he said the CPEC Authority has been established to provide all facilities to businessmen and investors as early as possible. The FM said an MoU signed between the two countries was related to the development of Gwadar Port and for making it a hub of regional trade and connectivity.

AFP adds: Meanwhile, New Delhi reacted crossly on Wednesday after Xi Jinping appeared again to back Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir, just two days before Indian premier Narendra Modi was due to host the Chinese president for an "informal summit".

Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1947, has been the spark for two wars between the nuclear-armed arch foes, and India´s scrapping of the region´s semi-autonomous status in August has further inflamed tensions.

Xi told Khan at talks in Beijing ahead of the Chinese leader´s meeting with Modiin Chennai on Friday and Saturday that Beijing was paying close attention and that the facts are clear, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

"China supports Pakistan to safeguard its own legitimate rights and hopes that the relevant parties can solve their disputes through peaceful dialogue," Xi said. A joint statement added that China "opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation" while the dispute "should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements."

India´s foreign ministry said, however: "India´s position has been consistent and clear that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India. China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India."

In addition, part of China´s Belt and Road initiative, a vast global infrastructure programme, includes a major project through Pakistan Azad Kashmir, a territory claimed by New Delhi. After India, Xi was due to make a state visit Nepal on Saturday and Sunday, the first by a Chinese president in more than two decades. India is also worried about losing influence to China there.

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