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Pakistan, China vow to strengthen strategic cooperation

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News Desk |

The Chinese government´s top diplomat held the first high-level meeting with his Pakistani counterpart since new Prime Minister Imran Khan took office on Saturday. Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a three-day visit to Islamabad during which he is scheduled to meet the president, the prime minister, National Assembly speaker and the chief of army staff (COAS).

According to the sources, both countries agreed to strengthen the strategic cooperation in a one-on-one meeting at the Foreign Office between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Foreign Office Spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal said talks between the two delegations led by the two foreign ministers were also held at the Foreign Office. Yi also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan to be the guest of honor at the International Import Expo in China. The two Foreign Ministers also expressed their desire to work more closely to ensure the success of CPEC and other projects which the two countries have jointly undertaken.

Prime Minister Imran Khan clearly stated in his maiden address to the nation that he will enhance Pak-China ties and will ensure that both countries prosper as a result of this cooperation.

This visit came in the wake of the stopover by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he met the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Pakistan. He only stayed in Pakistan for two hours after which he left for India to hold high-level talks with the Indian officials. Analysts opine that this visit was largely symbolic in which the US Secretary of State wanted to ascertain the ‘mood’ in Islamabad after the recent announcement of US President Donald Trump to block the US $ 300 million to Pakistan which was part of the Coalition Support Fund.

Sources from within the Foreign Office and Prime Minister House stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his stance that Pakistan would no more ‘do more’ and that it wanted cooperation with the US but only to end the Afghan conflict. Imran Khan also iterated, “Pakistan will no more fight someone else’s war.” Despite the simmering tensions between the two countries, the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere.

Read more: Sixty years of Pak-China friendship

Zeeshan Muneer, a political and defense analysts, while talking to GVS said,” The visit of Chinese Foreign Minister to Pakistan is timely and well planned since Beijing is eyeing to quickly fill the vacuum left by the US decision to withdraw its support from Pakistan and court India. Moreover, Pakistan is also very apprehensive of the budding US relationship with India and is looking for other ‘options’ to cater to its economic and defense requirements.”

“Pakistan no more views the US as a strategic and reliable partner and is looking to ensure self-reliance in defense and economy. China knows this and is more than willing to assist Pakistan in this endeavor. This is due to China’s own concerns regarding the growing prowess of India and the strategic partnership between Washington and Delhi,” he added.

Read more: Pak-China cooperation strong at OBOR summit: What is India missing?

Prime Minister Imran Khan clearly stated in his maiden address to the nation that he will enhance Pak-China ties and will ensure that both countries prosper as a result of this cooperation. The international political landscape is quickly changing and states are quickly realigning themselves to meet the future challenges. It seems as if the first biggest strategic shift in the 21st Century is taking place in South Asia and Pakistan is proactively placing itself to face the new challenges.

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