ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said that, “today we are planning for the future.”
PM Nawaz went on to say that several important decisions have been made in agreement with President Jinping which will take mutual relations between the two countries to new heights.
The Prime Minister further said both countries are committed to the eradication of terrorism, adding that President Jinping recognises the sacrifices made during Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
He also said that agreements and MoUs signed by the two countries for projects in Pakistan have sound financial and technical backing and are being put on fast track.
The PM went on to say that Pakistan is extremely thankful to China for invitation to become a full member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
He further said Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region with regards to all neigbours and considers China’s security as important as its own.
With regards to the Economic Corridor Project, he said that it will not only benefit all provinces and areas of Pakistan, but will also enable China with a shorter and efficient route.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed that friendship with China is the corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressing the joint press conference said that this is his first visit to the beautiful and friendly country of Pakistan and he is immensely thankful for the warm reception.
He said that the purpose of his visit is to strengthen the relations between the two countries even further and create a strategic partnership.
He went on to say that China will lend all support to Pakistan to defeat the menace of terrorism.
He further said the projects and agreements are related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, research and technology, education and other fields.
Referring to various development projects launched today, he said the economic corridor will be beneficial for both the countries. 30 out of 51 agreements signed today were linked with the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He hoped that construction of Karachi-Lahore motorway, Lahore Orange Line metro train, and energy projects will go a long way for the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
The projects and agreements signed today include Karot 720 MW hydroelectric project; Daud, Jhimpir and Sachal wind power projects, 100 MW solar power plant; joint statement on strategic cooperative partnership, Pakistan-China technical and economic cooperation agreement, and agreement on launching of Dosti Channel between Radio Pakistan and Chinese Radio International.
The joint statement also said the two sides will further enhance strategic communication and coordination to safeguard their common interests.
Pakistan and China expressed satisfaction at the growing volume of bilateral trade, which has crossed 15 billion dollars and agreed to make efforts to raise it to 20 billion dollars in next three years.
Pakistan welcomed the creation of Silk Road Fund by China and its utilisation for CPEC-related projects.
The two sides believed that the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives represent a new model of regional and South-South cooperation.
The two sides agreed to further enhance defence and maritime cooperation, maintain high-level visits and exchanges at various levels between relevant departments of the two armed forces.
They reaffirmed their commitment to multilateral non-discriminatory arms control and non-proliferation endeavours. They agreed to continue bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards, in line with their respective bilateral and multilateral commitments. China appreciates and supports steps taken by Pakistan towards its mainstreaming into the global non-proliferation regime. In this context, China welcomes Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The two sides believe that the evolving situation in Afghanistan has immediate implications for regional security and stability.
China most reliable friend: PM Nawaz
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday termed China as Pakistan’s most reliable and best friend.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at the Prime Minister’s House.
President Xi Jinping called the promotion of Pak-China friendship a part of the country’s future agenda and termed the relationship as a joint-asset. He added that relations between the two countries were growing from strength to strength.
“China and Pakistan hold the same position on regional and global issues,” President Xi Jinping said.
President Xi Jinping also mentioned how both countries had assisted each other during the evacuation of their citizens from Yemen.
Prime Minister Sharif stressed the resolve to take this relationship further calling China Pakistan’s reliable and best friend. “The people of China have always welcomed us,” PM Sharif said.
President Jinping arrived at the Prime Minister’s office around 3:00 pm, where he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a one-on-one meeting.
Following the one-on-one meeting, the two leaders led their respective sides for delegation-level talks.
Chinese President arrives on historic visit
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Islamabad on Monday in the first visit by a Chinese head of state in nine years.
The visit is being termed as historic as the Chinese president is likely to kick-off several projects, including the long-awaited Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, on his long-awaited visit.
Jinping’s two-day stay in Islamabad is the first foreign visit of the Chinese President during the current year.
Jinping was welcomed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain, three service chiefs, and several ministers and members of the federal cabinet as his aircraft landed at the Noor Khan airbase.
Eight JF-17 Thunder aircraft of Pakistan Air Force escorted the plane of the Chinese President as he entered Pakistani airspace.
A red carpet was rolled out and a 21-gun salute given to the dignitary as he arrived along with his wife and a high level delegation comprising CEOs from a wide spectrum of business houses of China.
JF-17 aircraft also presented fly-past in honour of the Chinese President.
Likewise the entire airport building was adorned with national flags of both countries. Clad in traditional dresses, children presented bouquet of flowers to President Xi Jinping and his wife. The children will also waved flags of both the countries to welcome the foreign guest.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will host a dinner reception in President Xi Jinping’s honour, while President Mamnoon Hussain will host a luncheon reception for the dignitary besides holding a meeting.
The Chinese president will meet Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq and Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah Tuesday morning.
Key agreements to be concluded
Both the countries would conclude a number of important agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) worth billions of dollars relating to key development projects in the infrastructure, energy and communication sectors under the ambit of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Important agreements related to other areas will also be signed on the occasion.
The visit of Chinese President will also herald the launching of the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project.
The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three Services Chiefs will also call on the President of China during his visit to Islamabad.
Xi Jinping will meet leaders of mainstream political parties besides Speaker National Assembly and Chairman Senate. He will also address a joint sitting of the Parliament.
President Xi Jinping will be conferred the country’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-Pakistan at a special investiture ceremony to be held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
To welcome the Chinese president, the roads and buildings of the federal capital have been illuminated with colorful lights and huge billboards depicting Pakistan’s culture as well as bilateral cooperation have also been installed.
Streamers have been inscribed with slogans on China-Pakistan friendship and carrying the portraits of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon and the Chinese President.