ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that the landmark visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping would usher in a new era of development in Pakistan and start a new chapter in the friendship between the two countries.
Pakistan attaches highest priority to its strategic cooperative partnership with China, he said.
The Prime Minister was talking to President of China, Xi Jinping here at the PM Office.
The Chinese President is on his first state visit to Pakistan since assuming office in 2013. This is also the President’s first foreign visit in 2015, which underscores the importance he attaches to Pakistan.
The two leaders had a one-on-one meeting in addition to delegation-level talks.
The meetings reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries, in addition to exchanging views on regional issues and international developments.
While welcoming the Chinese President to Pakistan, the Prime Minister said the strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China is without parallel in the annals of international relations.
Pakistan’s relationship with China enjoys across-the-board political, institutional and popular support that is unique and sets it apart from other relationships, he added.
While noting that high-level exchanges are the hallmark of Pakistan-China relations, the Prime Minister said the landmark visit of President Xi Jinping would further strengthen the all-weather friendship between the two countries.
The Prime Minister appreciated President Xi Jinping’s vision for enhanced cooperation with Asian countries, which demonstrates China’s commitment to sharing the fruits of its progress with underdeveloped countries.
Describing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a core component of President Xi’s vision for “One Road, One Belt”, the Prime Minister said the CPEC will transform the economic dimension of the two countries’ bilateral relationship.
The Prime Minister noted that President Xi’s visit would inject impetus into the project as it enters the implementation stage. Wide-ranging cooperation conceived under the CPEC, from Gwadar to energy and transport infrastructure projects, would transform Pakistan’s economy and have a profound impact on the lives of all Pakistanis, he said.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan acknowledges that investment by major Chinese public and private sector enterprises in Pakistan is one of the largest influxes of foreign capital in Pakistan.
He noted with pleasure that majority of these projects have been initiated during the tenure of the present government that are now nearing implementation and commissioning stages.
These projects would not only hugely impact Pakistan’s economy but also boost the confidence of international investors in the entire region, he added.
The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that projects under the CPEC will create new job opportunities for Pakistan’s professional and skilled workers.
The Chinese groups and companies will also have long term benefit from investment in Pakistan opening up new trade and investment linkages between the business communities of the two countries, he said.
The Chinese President said relations between China and Pakistan have developed into a strong tree having deep roots, nurtured by several generations of leadership of both the countries.
He regarded Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as a senior and seasoned statesman.
“After coming into power your government initiated far reaching reforms which are very important for Pakistan. Your efforts against terrorism are highly appreciable,” he said.
He said relations between the two countries have stood the test of time and have always remained healthy and strong.
President Xi expressed confidence that Pakistan would continue to make progress and attain more successes in future with the solid commitment of its leadership towards development.
He informed the Prime Minister that China wanted its relations with Pakistan to be a model for “Community of shared destiny”.
President Xi hailed the two countries’ decision to upgrade their friendship into an “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” as a landmark moment in the rich history of their relationship.
Afterwards the two countries also concluded a number of documents, agreements/MoUs relating to several important areas including development projects in the infrastructure, energy, and communication sectors under the ambit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor