Paris: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Mr. Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of China met today on the sidelines of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris. It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since Premier Li assumed office in March this year.
The conversation was marked by traditional warmth and cordiality that has been the hallmark of Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership. During the meeting, the two leaders held an in-depth discussion on the entire gamut of bilateral relationship including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as bilateral economic cooperation.
Reiterating support to China on its core issues, the Prime Minister appreciated China’s unflinching support to Pakistan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and socio-economic development. He noted that China’s firm opposition to holding any G20 meeting in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir was a vivid reflection of China’s principled stance for upholding international law and UN resolutions.
In his remarks, Premier Li said that Pakistan-China friendship is unique and has withstood the vicissitude of time due to deep fraternal ties between the peoples of the two nations. He added that as a close neighbour and iron-brother, Pakistan occupies a special position in China’s neighbourhood diplomacy and that China would continue its efforts for safeguarding Pakistan’s core interests and for the economic development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
Expressing satisfaction at the steady development of CPEC projects in Pakistan, the two sides agreed on the centrality of CPEC for Pakistan’s socio-economic development and expressed their firm commitment to continue working together for realizing its shared objectives for the two countries. The two leaders also agreed to celebrate the Decade of CPEC this year to showcase its success.
Prime Minister Sharif and Premier Li Qiang agreed to continue the momentum of high level exchanges between Pakistan and China. The Prime Minister invited Chinese Premier to undertake a visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience which the latter graciously accepted.