Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday held wide-ranging talks with
Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, in
Beijing.


He was accompanied by the foreign minister, minister for Finance,
minister for Planning, Reform and Special Initiatives’, minister for
Information & Broadcasting besides senior officials.

The two leaders agreed to work closely on further deepening
bilateral economic engagement and reaffirmed their commitment to further
advance the multifaceted strategic cooperative ties and building the
Pakistan-China Community of Shared Future in the new era.

The interaction between the two leaders was marked by traditional
sentiments of warmth, deep mutual trust and understanding. During the meeting,
they reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral ties, including discussions on the
bilateral economic and trade relations, onward march of CPEC and important
issues of regional and global concern.

The two sides reaffirmed the centrality of the Pakistan-China
All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and reiterated support on each
other’s issues of core interest.

Congratulating Premier Li for organising Beijing Winter Olympics, Prime
Minister Imran Khan highlighted that strategic ties between Pakistan and China
serving the fundamental interests of the two countries and a factor of peace
and stability in the region. He added that successful celebrations of the 70th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations held last year
injected a new impetus to bilateral friendship.

The prime minister thanked the Chinese government for support and
assistance to Pakistan in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and timely supply
of vaccines.

The prime minister appreciated the transformational impact of CPEC
on Pakistan’s infrastructure, energy, socio-economic development and
improvement in livelihoods of the people. He underlined that Pakistan is
committed to high quality development of CPEC through its mutually reinforcing
industrial, trade, health, digital and green corridors.

The prime minister shared with Premier Li the measures taken by
the government to provide policy guidance and support for enhanced Chinese
investments in the CPEC SEZs and Special Technology Zones, and for safety and
security of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in Pakistan.

Exchanging views on the regional security situation, the prime
minister highlighted the serious situation in IIOJK as well as the importance
of urgent action by the international community to alleviate sufferings of the
Kashmiri people.

He also underscored the importance of Pakistan and China working
together to promote shared objectives of peace, stability and development in
Afghanistan and regional connectivity.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with President of
Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics Opening
Ceremony in Beijing. The two leaders exchanged views in detail on the entire
gamut of bilateral relations based on shared bonds of faith, history and
culture and marked by cordiality and close cooperation.

The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to comprehensively
upgrade Pakistan-Uzbekistan partnership across the broad spectrum and continue
taking practical steps for implementation of the key projects.

Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the importance of enhanced
trade and economic cooperation, particularly through operationalising the
landmark bilateral Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and finalising the
Preferential Trade Agreement. He also reiterated Pakistan’s full support to the
Trans-Afghan railway project and exchanged views on next steps in taking it
forward over the coming months. To further improve connectivity and
people-to-people contacts, the prime minister underlined the need to enhance
tourism, take steps for resuming direct flights, strengthen banking links, and
facilitate visas procedures.

The two leaders also discussed cooperation in education and
culture and recognised progress on joint research and media ventures, including
joint film on Baburi heritage and dubbing of Pakistani dramas in Uzbek
language. They also exchanged views on issues of regional peace and stability.

The two sides stressed the need for continuing economic and
humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan by the international community to avoid
any further deterioration of the situation. Stressing the need for practical
engagement, the two leaders agreed that a peaceful, stable and prosperous
Afghanistan is vital for regional stability as well as for the realisation of
infrastructure and connectivity projects.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the people of Pakistan were looking
forward to welcoming President Mirziyoyev on his visit to Pakistan. The two
sides agreed to work closely to ensure concrete outcome of the visit.

In a related development, Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded his
second day of meetings with business leaders of mega China’s top state-owned
and private enterprises in Beijing. The executives who met the prime minister
included Chairmen of China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC), China State
Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), Power China, East Sea Group,
China Railway Group Limited (CREC), China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC),
Beijing Century Industrial Development Co Ltd (CENTINCO) and the CHINAMEX
Group.

During the meetings, the Chinese businesspersons briefed the prime
minister on the progress of their ongoing projects in Pakistan and future
investment plans worth billions of US dollars in the fields of energy,
refining, petrochemical, infrastructure development, water management,
information and communication technology (ICT), and housing.

China Energy is a Fortune 500 conglomerate operating in the fields
of energy, water management, transportation and construction; CSCEC’s major
areas of focus are communications and engineering; Power China provides
services in the energy & water sectors; East Sea Group is an international
energy and chemical trading company; CREC focuses on engineering, real estate
development, railways and mining sectors; MCC is the world’s largest
metallurgical construction contractor; CENTINCO specialises in industrial,
infrastructure refining & petrochemical projects; and CHINAMEX Group has
carried out urban development projects in several countries.

Appreciating the interests of Chinese companies for enhancing
business ties with Pakistan, the prime minister highlighted that the government
of Pakistan had offered many incentives to foreign enterprises, especially from
China, for investment in Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones.

He assured that Pakistan would continue to support and facilitate
the Chinese companies for their expanded footprints in Pakistan. The prime
minister was accompanied in the meetings by the members of cabinet and senior
officials.

 

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2022-02-06

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