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Sunday Sep 08 2019
Web Desk

Beijing 'paying close attention' to Kashmir, says Chinese FM to Pak leadership

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: China was "paying close attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir", Beijing's foreign minister told the Pakistani leadership during meetings between the two countries' representatives.

According to a joint press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday.

China's Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Luo Zhaohui, Beijing's Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, and other senior Pakistani and Chinese officials were also present at the meeting in Islamabad.

"Both sides further exchanged views on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir," the joint press release said. "The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation, including its concerns, position, and urgent humanitarian issues.

"The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

"China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation," it added.

The Chinese foreign minister also met President Arif Alvi, FM Qureshi, and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa wherein "both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest".

During the meeting, "both sides reiterated that the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Pakistan is an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.

"This partnership remains unaffected by any adverse regional and international development and continues to move from strength to strength. Both sides reaffirmed that China-Pakistan relationship is a priority in their foreign policies, and committed to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era."

Further, China and Pakistan focused on enhancing "strategic mutual trust and [improving] all-round cooperation so as to jointly promote regional peace, stability and prosperity".

The statement added: "The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national dignity, in choosing its development path in light of its national conditions, in working for a better external security environment, and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international issues."

On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the two countries agreed that the pioneering project "has entered a new phase of high-quality development".

They "agreed to continue to firmly push forward the construction of CPEC, complete its on-going projects in a timely manner, and realize its full potential by focusing on socio-economic development, job creation and better livelihood and accelerating cooperation in industrial parks and agriculture.

"Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation. Both sides agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs. The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties."

With regard to the regional situation, the two ally nations noted: "Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality."

As for Afghanistan, they agreed to "support the ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned' peace and reconciliation process" and "welcomed the positive progress achieved in the negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the US, and called on all Afghan political stakeholders, including the Afghan Taliban, to start intra-Afghan negotiations to form a future political structure acceptable to all parties and achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date".

A day earlier, delegation-level talks between Pakistan and China were held between officials from the two countries discussed regional and bilateral matters,

The delegations had an in-depth exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and regional matters, particularly the current situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

The two sides had also exchanged views on the Afghan peace process.

Qureshi had stated that Pakistan was grateful for China's support in the aftermath of India's illegal and unilateral actions. He had stressed that Pakistan and China were to continue their close coordination and consultation to ensure that peace and stability in the region is maintained.

The Chinese state councilor had reaffirmed China's support and reiterated opposition to any unilateral action as well as the measures that could further complicate the situation.

FM Qureshi had said Pakistan would continue to support China on all issues of its core interest, including Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong.

The CPEC added a new dimension to bilateral ties and contributed immensely to the revitalisation of Pakistan's economy, FM Qureshi had highlighted, reiterating Islamabad's commitment to the timely completion of the projects, especially those in Gwadar.

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