Tuesday November 30, 2021

Pakistan, China agree to boost cooperation on corona vaccine

August 22, 2020

HAINAN: Pakistan and China have agreed to strengthen cooperation in developing a vaccine to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic and promote the establishment of “China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future and Community of Common Health”.

In a joint statement released by the Foreign Office on Friday after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met for the second round of the China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue in the Hainan province of China.

They exchanged views on the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral relations, and international and regional issues of mutual interest, as well as reached a consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity, and development in the region.

Both sides emphasised that unity and cooperation are the “most powerful” weapons for the international community against the disease and opposed “politicising the pandemic” and called for the international community to increase the sense of a community of shared future and carry out effective joint prevention and control measures in order to mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19.

Both sides reiterated that the “enduring China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” is beneficial to international and regional peace and stability, and serves the mutual security and development interests of both countries as well as of international community and regional countries.

Both sides were committed to firmly implementing the consensus reached between the two leaders, enhancing mutual strategic trust, strengthening all-round cooperation, maintaining momentum of high-level exchanges, further advancing construction of Belt and Road Initiative, promoting bilateral relationship to a higher level, and delivering greater benefits to both countries and the two peoples.

Both sides also agreed on continuing their firm support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests. The Chinese side reiterated that Pakistan and China are “iron brothers and Pakistan remains China’s staunchest partner in the region and that China firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, independently choosing a development path based on its national conditions, striving for a better external security environment and playing a more constructive role on international and regional affairs”.

The Pakistani side appreciated China for standing together with Pakistan in safeguarding its national security and sovereignty, and reaffirmed its firm support to China on affairs concerning China’s core interests and issues of major concern, such as those related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

Both sides underscored that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered the new phase of high-quality development, and has played and will continue to play an important role in supporting Pakistan to overcome the impact of Covid-19 and achieve greater development.

The two sides will continue to firmly advance the construction of CPEC, ensure in-time completion of those projects under construction, focus on economic and social development, job creation and improvement of people’s livelihood, and further strengthen cooperation in specialised economic zones, industrial relocation, science and technology, medical and health, human resources training, poverty alleviation, and agriculture etc., with the aim to continuously unleash the great potential of CPEC to make it a hub of regional connectivity. Both sides expressed satisfaction on agreements reached on recent mega energy projects and look forward to convening the 10th JCC meeting at the earliest possible date to promote CPEC to make positive contributions to the high-quality construction of BRI.

Both sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in common interest of all parties. “Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” it said.

The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns, position and current urgent issues. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, which is an objective fact, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. “China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation,” it said.

Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Afghan issue and appreciated the efforts made by Afghan government and the Taliban to initiate the intra-Afghan negotiations. They emphasised the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated agreement for future political settlement in Afghanistan.

China appreciated Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process and efforts for promoting peace and stability in region and beyond.

Both China and Pakistan reaffirmed the vitality of the time-tested and “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” between the two countries which remains unaffected by the vicissitudes of the regional and international developments and continues to move from strength to strength.