Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in Islamabad after concluding his four-day official visit to China, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping Sunday morning.
In a joint statement released at the end of meetings, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chinese leadership have pledged that they would safeguard the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from negative propaganda and all other threats.
PM Khan and President Xi Jingpin reviewed the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and discussed issues of mutual interest.
The 33-point joint statement covers a host of issues including defence cooperation, Indian Occupied Kashmir, and Afghanistan.
It says PM Khan was "invited by the Chinese leadership to visit Beijing to from 3 to 6 February to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games 2022" and during the visit, he held talks with President Xi Jinping, and Premier Li Keqiang.
Pakistan expressed support for China on issues like Xinjiang and Tibet and China reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in "safeguarding its sovereignty, independence, and security, as well as promoting its socio-economic development and prosperity."
The leaders agreed that CPEC was a vital project with Gwadar its central pillar.
"Both sides expressed their strong determination to safeguard CPEC from all threats and negative propaganda. Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to making all-out efforts for the security of all Chinese personnel, projects, and institutions in Pakistan and the Chinese side expressed its appreciation for the measures taken by Pakistan in this regard," the statement read.
It said that the CPEC was a "win-win enterprised" and third parties were welcome to benefit from the investment opportunities in CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Prime Minister Khan welcomed increased Chinese investments in the phase two of the CPEC which centers on industrialization.
They reaffirmed the resolve to build the Pakistan-China community for a shared future in the new era.
According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the PM highlighted atrocities being committed by India in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the persecution of minorities in India. He called it a “threat to regional peace and stability.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated China on successful hosting of the Winter Olympics Games and extended his best wishes on the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Both leaders urged the world to help Afghan people to avert an impending humanitarian crisis.
During his visit PM Khan attended the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics Games 2022. He also met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Qureshi to meet Chinses counterpart in March
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, speaking to reporters in Islamabad, said that he has seen many meeting between the leadership of both countries, but none has been as comprehensive and clear as meetings on this visit.
“The prime minister held delegation-level talks with Premier Li. We talked about economic collaboration and promoting Chinese investment.”
He said that Pakistan took a “pitch book” to inform China about sectors where it can invest to gain a competitive advantage.
PM Khan also met the heads of prominent state-owned and private companies and think tanks.
According to Qureshi, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has invited him to China in March to hold meetings with Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours to work out a plan of assistance.
We have proposed a follow up mechanism to materialize what we discussed, Qureshi added.
Fawad rebuffs claims of lukewarm welcome
Addressing the criticism over China's deputy foreign minister receiving PM Khan at the airport, Foreign Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that those who don’t know the spelling of multilateral and bilateral become expert on foreign affairs.
“This was not a bilateral visit, but a visit by more than 20 heads of state. They were all received at the airport in the same manner as Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
According to Chaudhry, President Xi appreciated Pakistan’s economic recovery and the reforms implemented by the PTI government.
He also commented on the meeting between the leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League N Saturday, and called it a drama series “hum panch.”
“These parties are regional parties. If they think they can take out a long march, they are delusional. They can't even do short march."