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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pak-China joint statement makes way for stronger strategic partnership

The joint statement by Pakistan and China was issued at an important time and the crucial moment has charted the course for the further development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

The joint statement issued by Pakistan and China at the end of four-day visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China has triple significance as it charted the course for further development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law, said on Tuesday.

“I firmly believe that the joint statement issued at an important time and the crucial moment has charted the course for the further development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership,” he said in a statement published by China Economic Net (CEN).

Prof Cheng, who also remained defense attache in South Asian countries, said Prime Minister Imran Khan had just concluded his visit to China.

He said, “At the end of his visit, the two sides issued a joint statement. From the joint statement, we can see the triple significance:

“First, the strategic mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries have been further consolidated. The leaders of the two countries held an in-depth exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as the regional situation and international political landscape.”

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Both sides reiterated their support on issues concerning each other’s core interests, he added. The Pakistani side expressed its commitment to One-China Policy and support for China on Taiwan, the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence, and security, as well as promoting its socio-economic development and prosperity.

Second, Prof Cheng said, both sides expressed their firm determination to promote the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Pakistani side underscored that as the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC had significantly contributed to Pakistan’s economic and social development, and was fully in line with its shift from geo-politics to geo-economics and the economic security agenda of promoting trade, investments, and connectivity.

He said both sides reaffirmed CPEC’s high-quality development and the commitment to ensuring the smooth operation of completed projects and the timely completion of projects under construction.

The newly signed Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation between the Board of Investment (BOI) of Pakistan and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China would facilitate the relocation of China’s industrial units to CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and accelerate China’s investment and industrial and technological scale transfer to Pakistan so that large-scale production and export of modern industrial products can be quickly formed in Pakistan, he added.

He said it was particularly noteworthy that the joint statement also proposed the launch of the China-Pakistan health, industry, trade, green and digital corridors, and strengthen cooperation across all areas, including in the fields of trade, infrastructure, industrial development, agriculture modernization, scientific and technological cooperation, so as to enhance Pakistan’s economic strength and benefit all the Pakistani people.

Major boost in trade relations between China and Pakistan

Third, Prof Cheng said, the joint statement stressed that economic complementarity and market integration between the two sides were conducive to Pakistan’s rapid enhancement of its position of strength.

In the past year, he said, the economic and trade relations between China and Pakistan had developed by leaps and bounds. The total value of China’s imports and exports to Pakistan was increased by 59.1% year-on-year in 2021 and bilateral trade between the two countries, especially Pakistan’s exports to China, hit record levels.

China was a huge market for Pakistan’s commodity exports, and Pakistan’s fruits, food, and grain could be exported to China in large quantities, he added.

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At the same time, Prof Chang said, China’s capital and technology continued to flow into Pakistan, pushing Pakistan towards a fast track of development. Therefore, the high integration of the Chinese economy and Pakistani economy was conducive to the rapid socio-economic development of Pakistan, he remarked.

In addition, he said, the joint statement had also greatly stimulated the enthusiasm of Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan.

During his visit to China, Prime Minister Imran Khan held around 20 meetings with representatives of a large number of Chinese companies with the intention to invest as the CPEC Phase II development involves multi-billion-dollar investments in Pakistan.

Courtesy: APP