Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Imran Khan’s visit infuses momentum in Pakistan-China ties

China Pakistan bus service,PoK,Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Rising Kashmir
Andrew Cummings | 05 November, 2018, 05:47

Khan is in Beijing on his maiden visit to China as the two countries grapple to iron out differences over the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Islamabad approaching "friendly nations" to avoid a tough International Monetary Fund bailout package.

Li said "China and Pakistan are all-weather partners".

Acknowledging the fact that China was a popular choice for Pakistanis - with more than 25,000 students enrolled across universities in the country - China, on its part, said that it would offer additional scholarships for students from the neighboring country.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said his country would help, but added that more talks were needed to iron out the details of any aid agreement.

The statement didn't specifically mention the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir but said China appreciates "Pakistan's quest for peace" in the region and for a stable south Asia.

In political relations and strategic communication, both sides stressed that they will continue to view bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.

They reviewed the progress on CPEC, expressed satisfaction on its achievements, and vowed for its early completion to maximise the benefits for Pakistan. "Both sides have agreed to establish a foreign-ministerial dialogue mechanism to make overall planning and coordinate in various fields", Kong said besides establishing a working group on social and livelihood affairs under the CPEC joint cooperation.

Pakistan and China signed 15 agreements that includes poverty alleviation in Pakistan, strengthening industrial, and agricultural ties and technical training.

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PM Imran said corruption and money laundering were the biggest problems facing Pakistan. Highlighting the enormous market potential and geostrategic advantage of Pakistan, the prime minister encouraged the business leaders to explore investment opportunities in the diverse socioeconomic sectors.

This is Prime Minister Imran Khan's first official visit to China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

No country [other than China] has lifted 700 million out of poverty in 30 years, he observed.

"It is not targeted against any third party", he said, despite the project passing through PoK. "It is easy to catch low-level criminals but it is much more challenging to expose white-collar crime which actually devastates a country", he added.

China's stand he said is that the "cooperation between China and Pakistan has nothing to do with the territorial dispute and will not affect China's principled position on Kashmir", he said.

To a question whether there will be changes in the CPEC projects, Kong said: "there has been no change in the number of CPEC projects".

"In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that it is only by respecting the autonomy of countries involved, there can be regional connectivity and avoid differences and disorientation".

Later a separate meeting was held between State Councillor Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

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