Chinese State councilor and Minister of Defence General Wei Fenghe is on a 3 day official visit to Islamabad. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation, with the goal of further strengthening Pak-China ties, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.
General Wei Fenghe called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss bilateral relations, the coronavirus pandemic, matters concerning the annexation of Kashmir, CPEC among other issues.
Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Defence of China General Wei Fenghe called on Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI.
General Wei is leading a high-level delegation to Pakistan on a three-day official visit. pic.twitter.com/fS8w0j8D2x
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 1, 2020
Welcoming General Wei Fenghe to Pakistan, PM Imran emphasized the importance of regular high-level exchanges, even during the pandemic. Instead of greeting each other by shaking hands, PM Imran Khan received General Wei Fenghe the elbow gesture, that has been the new method of greeting since the coronavirus.
One-China policy and the Covid-19 pandemic
The highlight of the meeting was the Prime Minister’s statement that Pakistan and China were bound by ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ based on mutual understanding and commonality of views. He added that Pakistan firmly adhered to the One-China policy and supported China on issues of its core national interest.
Minister of Defence General Wei Fenghe conveyed was greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to PM Imran and stressed the importance the Chinese Leadership attached to China’s relations with Pakistan. PM Imran Khan warmly reciprocated the greetings.
The Prime Minister admired China’s development model that has taken millions out of poverty and added that Pakistan wishes to follow this example. PM Imran Khan further appreciated China’s success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic. He thanked the Government and the people of China for extending their solidarity and material support to Pakistan to deal with Covid-19.
The Kashmir cause and CPEC main items on the agenda
The Prime Minister valued China’s unprecedented support on Jammu and Kashmir in wake of India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019. He underlined the serious threat posed by RSS-BJP dispensation through belligerent actions, discriminatory measures against Indian Minorites, and harshest steps to curb all the freedoms of innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
These actions exposed India’s hegemonic aspirations and expansionist agenda to the world, this jeopardizes peace in the region.
The Prime minister underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a signature project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was transformational and emphasized that the economic and social impact of CPEC on the region will be substantial and beneficial.
General Wei Fenghe termed Pakistan as China’s ‘Iron Brother’, close friend and good neighbor. He emphasized the depth and breadth of Pak-China ties, he conveyed Chinese leadership’s firm commitment to further solidifying ties between both the countries.
General awarded with ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ and meets COAS
In his three day visit, General Wei Fenghe met President Arif Alvi, where the former awarded the Chinese Minister of Defence with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz at a special investiture ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadar.
General Wei Fenghe was gifted this prestigious award in order to appreciate his services and efforts in strengthening Pak-China relations. The ceremony was also attended by Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Pervaiz Khattak and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Dr. Moeed Yusuf.
In addition to this, Chinese Defence Minister called on Chief of Army Staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa and met him at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
During this meeting, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on enhancing the efforts of both countries towards defence cooperation. Matters pertaining mutual interest, regional security and bilateral defence collaboration were on the agenda of the meeting.