By Muhammad Luqman
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan has said China will always stand by Pakistan’s core interests, and both countries have made the right choice of being strategic partners based on equality and mutual benefit.
Wang Qishan made these remarks while speaking at the Second Silk Road Forum organised by ‘Friends of Silk Road Forum’ – a people’s platform linking communities, different segments of society, academia, media and think-tanks at a grassroots level.
He said that history is witness to Pakistan-China friendship which is deeply rooted in the cultural, historical and friendly bond between the peoples of the two countries. He said that Pakistan was the first country to acknowledge New China and hence was a strategic partner of China.
“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has come a long way in further cementing this bond. I am confident the CPEC would add new impetus to development in Pakistan besides furthering the regional development. I am happy to know that supporting CPEC is a consensus among all parties and ethnic groups in across Pakistan,” Wang Qishan said.
He said that Pakistan and China stand by each other’s core interests and the spirit of the Silk Road binds the two countries together with a common heritage and history.
Referring to the international situation, Wang said that despite challenges, the way forward is globalisation, free trade and people-to-people connectivity. He also appreciated the success of the CPEC and he said that the second phase of CPEC would even bring more benefits for both Pakistan and China.
Addressing the forum, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid tribute to the visiting dignitary, saying that the Chinese leader had played a key role in cementing relations between the two countries.
“You’re a historian, remarkable economist and a great leader. You have played a key role in cementing Pakistan-China friendship. Pakistan and China are the most reliable, trusted friends. Pakistan and China stand united in promoting a prosperous global society with a shared future for mankind,” he added.
Qureshi said that the international department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) also had played a key role in holding a joint consultative mechanism to evolve a consensus on CPEC among various political and regional parties.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successive visits to China have paved way for a stronger collaboration with the government of China. He said that the two countries were rendering joint efforts in poverty alleviation, anti-corruption and development process in the region and China has been a consistent partner in this regard.
Meanwhile ,Pakistan and China have signed several Memoranda of Understanding for cooperation in different sectors.
The signing ceremony was held in Islamabad on Sunday which was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice Prime Minister Wang Qishan.
According to Radio Pakistan, the MoUs include cooperation in economic and technical affairs, Disaster Management and assistance in agriculture resarch at Lasbella University, Balochistan.
By Muhammad Luqman