Samarkand September 16 2022: Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday met Chinese President Xi Jinping here wherein he appreciated the transformational impact of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Pakistan’s socio-economic development.
During the bilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the prime minister reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the high quality development of CPEC.
Both leaders welcomed the signing of a Protocol to the Framework Agreement on ML-1 Railway Project. The ML-1 project estimated to cost USD 6.806 billion to be build in three different phases.
Both the leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on important regional and international issues of mutual interest.
This was the prime minister’s first meeting with the Chinese president since assuming office in April 2022.
The interaction between the two leaders was marked by traditional warmth as well as exceptional mutual trust and understanding.
In his welcoming remarks, the Chinese president described Prime Minister Sharif as “a person of pragmatism and efficiency”. He also added that the prime minister was a leader with “a longstanding commitment to China-Pakistan friendship”.
Noting the enduring nature of China-Pakistan bilateral ties, the prime minister underlined that our ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ and Iron-brotherhood had withstood the test of time.
He reaffirmed his personal resolve to take their bilateral relations to greater heights.
Prime Minister Sharif extended his best wishes to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China for the forthcoming 20th CPC National Congress.
He underscored that the SCO provided an excellent forum to further their shared vision and mutual values into concrete plans for regional cooperation and integration.
The prime minister thanked President Xi, the government and the people of China for the generous and timely support to the flood affected people in Pakistan.
He said that the outpouring of sympathy and support from all quarters across China was touching and a true reflection of the “unique” friendship between China and Pakistan.
He condoled with President Xi over the tragic loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Sichuan Province on September 5, 2022, emphasizing that the Government and people of Pakistan stood with China in the face of this natural calamity.
The prime minister briefed President Xi on his government’s policies for Pakistan’s sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernization, and regional connectivity.
Prime Minister Sharif reiterated Pakistan’s consistent and unwavering support to China on all issues of its core interest including Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
He also thanked the Chinese government for support extended to Pakistan for its sovereignty and territorial integrity, FATF, national development, COVID-19 pandemic and other areas.
Sharing his views with President Xi on the international situation, the prime minister highlighted that challenges like climate change, health pandemics and growing inequalities could only be tackled through cooperation of all nations in accordance with the UN Charter.
He lauded President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Global Development Initiative (GDI), which called for collective action for sustainable development and win-win outcomes.
Prime Minister Sharif highlighted the serious human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and thanked China for its principled stand on the dispute.
The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to building the Pakistan-China Community for Shared Future in the New Era.
The prime minister renewed his invitation to President Xi Jinping to undertake a state visit to Pakistan, underlining that the people of Pakistan were looking forward to accord a warm welcome to him.
While acknowledging the invitation, President Xi stated that he was looking forward to Prime Minister Sharif’s visit to China at an early date.