Pakistan and China agreed on Tuesday to further strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties, including fully realising the potential offered by the Phase-II of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement to overcome economic headwinds.
The resolve came during a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
During the conversation, PM Imran congratulated President Xi on the centenary of the Communist Party of China, the unprecedented victory in the Chinese people’s battle to eradicate absolute poverty, and appreciated China’s stellar development in four decades of reform and opening up.
“The Prime Minister lauded the successful, timely and high-quality implementation of the CPEC projects, and welcomed Chinese investments in the CPEC Special Economic Zones. He underscored that early start of work on the ML-1 railway project would complement Pakistan’s geo-economics vision for national and regional development,” the press release added.
PM Imran also appreciated China’s leading role in combating climate change. He briefed President Xi on Pakistan’s wide-ranging measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.
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“The two leaders agreed to strengthen Pakistan-China cooperation in the relevant areas and to promote CPEC’s green development as a high quality demonstration of the Belt and Road Initiative,” the MoFA added.
The press release further stated that the premier appreciated China’s successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as relief and assistance measures for the developing countries, including the vaccine cooperation with Pakistan.
“The two leaders also felicitated each other on the important milestone of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership, and discussed the regional and international situation,” the MoFA added.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, both leaders called on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian and economic assistance to the Afghan people to alleviate their suffering, prevent instability and flight of people, as well as continued engagement for the rebuilding of the country.
PM Imran stressed the need to continue with the momentum of high-level exchanges to further diversify “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” between the two countries.
The premier renewed his invitation to President Xi to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.