By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Pakistan and China, having enjoyed decades of brotherly relations, have reiterated their resolve to upgrade all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and take it to new heights while giving a thrust to key areas of economic, trade and defence.
They have also expressed convergence of opinion that social and economic development would be an important area under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation between the two countries.
Addressing a joint press conference, with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Islamabad on September 8, after their delegation-level talks, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, remarked both countries were supporting each other on various international fora and shared common principles on different international and regional issues, asserting that enhancing the all-weather strategic partnership with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“CPEC will remain a priority for the government. It’s a proof of how seamless the Belt and Road initiative can become with the help of all stakeholders. We are proud of Pakistan and China's friendship which has withstood every test," he assured.
"China will give a lot of sustenance to encourage imports from Pakistan. We have decided to strive for a greater balance in the two-way trade. China will earmark subsidiaries to encourage imports from Pakistan and will send more coalition teams to Pakistan. We will also broaden the market access to Pakistan's competitive agricultural products," he added.
The delegation level talks took place at the Foreign Office where the visiting Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, accompanied by three ministerial level representatives, met with Shah Mahmood Qureshi.