ISLAMABAD: China on Saturday emphasized the importance of resolving all unresolved problems, including Kashmir, in an ‘appropriate and peaceful’ manner, condemning any ‘unilateral moves’ that compound an already dangerous situation.
The declaration was made during the fourth round of the Foreign Minister-level Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue, which was held in Islamabad from May 5 to 6, 2023.
Qin Gang, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister paid his first official visit to Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The fourth round of the Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue was co-chaired by the counterparts.
The whole range of bilateral relations and cooperation was discussed throughout the debate, encompassing political, strategic, economic, defense security, education, and cultural areas.
FM Bilawal commended China’s leadership on the achievement of the “Two Sessions.” He congratulated China’s people and the new leadership all the best in their efforts to establish a powerful, prosperous, and modern socialist country.
During the discussion, all sides emphasized the necessity of maintaining South Asian peace and stability, as well as the need to resolve all outstanding concerns. The Pakistani side updated the Chinese delegation on the latest developments in the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
The Chinese side reaffirmed that the Kashmir dispute was a legacy of history between India and Pakistan and that it should be resolved appropriately and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions, and bilateral agreements.
Both parties were opposed to any unilateral steps that would worsen an already combustible situation.
The Chinese side emphasized its staunch support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, as well as its unity, stability, and economic growth, reaffirming Pakistan’s special role in China’s neighborhood diplomacy.
The Pakistani side reaffirmed its adherence to the “One China” policy and its unwavering support for China on all core issues of national interest, including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.
The two sides welcomed the completion of a decade of CPEC in 2023, hailing it as a brilliant example of Belt and Road cooperation that has expedited socio-economic development, job creation, and the betterment of people’s livelihoods in Pakistan.
Both parties expressed pleasure with the steady progress of CPEC projects, reaffirming their commitment to high-quality CPEC development. The two parties emphasized the importance of the ML-1 project under the CPEC framework and agreed to expedite its implementation.
They also committed to actively promoting the Karachi Circular Railway alongside vital sectors of cooperation including as agriculture, research and technology, information technology, and renewable energy.
The two sides discussed the status of numerous Gwadar projects, including the Friendship Hospital and the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA). Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to developing Gwadar as a high-quality port and a regional trade and connectivity hub.
Both sides emphasized the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for the region’s socioeconomic development, connectivity, and prosperity, and they urged all stakeholders to work together for a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and united Afghanistan that would firmly combat terrorism and live in harmony with its neighbors.
The two parties emphasized the need for the international community to continue to assist and sustain Afghanistan, especially by unfreezing Afghanistan’s abroad financial assets.
The two sides agreed to maintain humanitarian and economic support to the Afghan people, as well as to strengthen development cooperation in Afghanistan, particularly through the extension of CPEC to Afghanistan.