ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said that the Sino-Pak relationship was “based on solidarity, trust, mutual respect, and mutual support” in a press conference alongside his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during of his visit to China.
The two nations enjoyed a “unique, unrivaled and time-tested brotherhood,” added Bilawal, while extending a warm invitation to Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Yi to visit Islamabad.
FM Bilawal reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to providing safety to Chinese citizens in the country, and once again condemned the attack on Chinese teachers at the Karachi University on April 29.
He also emphasised Pakistan and China’s shared commitment to stability and alleviation of
poverty in the region.
He arrived in Guangzhou, China late Saturday on his first bilateral visit at the invitation of Yi. The two-day trip is also the first in-person high-level interaction between the two countries since the establishment of Pakistan’s new government in April.
The foreign minister will hold extensive consultations with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during which they are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.
Bilawal made the announcement of his arrival on Twitter, adding that Sunday also marked the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China.
Fast-tracked progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, will also feature in the discussions.
A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the two sides will also have a wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues.
“As all-weather strategic cooperative partners, it is necessary for China and Pakistan to improve communication and coordination on major issues to deal with changes in the region and risks and challenges,” he added.
The spokesperson also stated that China hopes to use this visit as an opportunity to carry on with the traditional friendship with Pakistan, consolidate strategic mutual trust and further deepen the all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future.
The statement comes just days after the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had assured his Pakistani counterpart, Shehbaz Sharif, of his country’s readiness to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, expand trade and encourage greater investments from China to Pakistan, over a telephonic conversation on May 16.
In a statement on May 10, Bilawal had also expressed that he sought to further strengthen Pakistan’s “all-weather strategic partnership” with China, including through the “rapid implementation” of CPEC. The statement issued by the Foreign Office had said
“Pakistan will continue its efforts to enhance cooperation with China through CPEC, to advance its national implementation of SDGs, in addition to participating actively in the work of the GDI Group of Friends to promote the common aspiration of a peaceful, prosperous, and shared future for all mankind.”