ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has arrived in Pakistan after completing his two-day official visit to China, Geo News reported on Thursday.
High-ranking Chinese authorities and representatives of the Pakistan Embassy met him at the Beijing Capital International airport and saw off him and his delegation.
Earlier, PM Shehbaz congratulated President Xi on his reelection as General Secretary of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He also thanked him for China’s invaluable assistance to Pakistan’s relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts in the wake of devastation caused by super floods in the country.
The two leaders reviewed the progress of the bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They reaffirmed their commitment to the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries that has withstood the test of time.
The two nations have stood firmly side by side, in realizing their shared vision of peace, stability, development and prosperity. Reaffirming Pakistan’s unique historic ties with China, Shehbaz strongly reaffirmed that the Pakistan-China friendship enjoyed complete consensus across the political spectrum in Pakistan and was a model of inter-state relations.
Paying tribute to President Xi’s leadership for China’s prosperity and his vision for strengthening of bilateral relationship, the premier said that Pakistan drew inspiration from China’s socio-economic development and national resolve for the country’s progress and prosperity.
The two leaders discussed cooperation across a range of issues, including defence, trade and investment, agriculture, health, education, green energy, science and technology and disaster preparedness.
They reaffirmed their mutual commitment to CPEC, while highlighting that CPEC’s high quality development would further strengthen bilateral ties between Pakistan and China. In this regard, the two leaders agreed that as a project of strategic importance, both sides would make joint efforts for launching ML-1 as an early harvest project, under the CPEC framework.
They also acknowledged the need for a mass-transit project in Karachi and agreed to finalize all formalities for the early launch of the Karachi Circular Railway.
They also appreciated the signing of a number of agreements covering broad range of bilateral cooperation during the visit.
President Xi Jinping assured that China would continue to extend its support to Pakistan for sustainable economic development and to harness its potential as the geo-economic hub.
He also announced an additional assistance package of RMB 500 million for Pakistan’s post-flood relief and rehabilitation efforts. The two leaders exchanged views on the rapid transformation in the international environment, which had exacerbated economic challenges for developing countries.
They affirmed their shared belief in dialogue and cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit as critical for global peace and prosperity. They agreed that contemporary challenges like climate change, health pandemics and growing inequalities needed unqualified cooperation among states, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. There was complete unanimity of views between the two leaders.
PM Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping also discussed key issues, pertaining to the region including the situation in IIOJK and in Afghanistan.
Both leaders acknowledged that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would promote regional security and economic development and agreed that CPEC’s extension to Afghanistan would strengthen regional connectivity initiatives.
The Prime Minister also extended a warm invitation to President Xi for visiting Pakistan at an early date, which the later accepted graciously.