Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday assured China that the multi-billion dollar CPEC was a “national priority” as top diplomats of the two countries agreed to further expand the developmental projects to new areas.
During the first round of political consultations between the two allies here, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua conveyed to visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou that Islamabad was committed to the successful implementation of the ongoing CPEC projects.
The USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Muslim-majority Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port.
“The two sides also resolved to work together towards completion of the ongoing projects and agreed to expand the CPEC to new areas of cooperation in line with the vision of the leadership of Pakistan,” Foreign Office said in a statement.
It said that the Pakistan side conveyed that the CPEC was a national priority for the government and the country would remain committed to successful implementation of the CPEC.
Both sides also held comprehensive discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.
The two sides agreed to build upon the consensus reached between the leadership of two countries during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China.
“They (two sides) reaffirmed ‘All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ between the two countries and expressed their satisfaction at the strong bilateral ties in political, economic, security, cultural and other spheres,” FO said.
Both sides also exchanged views on international political situation with a particular focus on Afghanistan and South Asia.
They also expressed satisfaction at their robust cooperation in multilateral fora and reiterated their resolve to further augment it in the future.
Kong also called on Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who congratulated China on successful conclusion of Pakistan-China bilateral political consultations.
“Pakistan-China friendship has deep cultural, historical and institutional linkages and has become an ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’,” he said.
Recalling Khan’s successful visit to China in November, the foreign minister said that it marks a milestone in the history of bilateral relations and has deepened the bond of trust and friendship between two nations.
He highlighted that the CPEC has added yet another dimension to the bilateral ties and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to complete this project as envisaged by the leadership of both the countries.
Qureshi said that he was looking forward to participate in the 2nd meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ trilateral mechanism to be held in Kabul on December 15.
Kong said that China attaches paramount importance to its relations with Pakistan as he expressed satisfaction at the momentum of bilateral relations.
He also underscored the need to further enhance the ties in political, economic, defense and cultural spheres.
Kong appreciated Pakistan for its efforts to achieve goals of national development and extended China’s utmost support.
Both leaders also exchanged views on regional situation and multilateral issues of mutual concern and agreed to deepen strategic coordination and communication at all levels.