Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif (right) meets with visiting senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi (left) in Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 29, 2022. (AHMAD KAMAL / XINHUA)
BEIJING / ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif met with visiting senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Islamabad on Wednesday, with the two sides pledging to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said Pakistan is China's "ironclad" friend and reliable brother. No matter how the international situation changes, the mutual trust and friendship between the two countries are rock solid.
China has always prioritized Pakistan in developing its relations with neighboring countries and is ready to further strengthen policy communication and development strategy alignment with Pakistan, carry on the traditional friendship, enhance mutual strategic trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, said senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi
China has always prioritized Pakistan in developing its relations with neighboring countries and is ready to further strengthen policy communication and development strategy alignment with Pakistan, carry on the traditional friendship, enhance mutual strategic trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, jointly build the high-quality China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in a safe and smooth manner, and forge an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era, said Yang, who is also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.
Noting that China is willing to push for close coordination with Pakistan on multilateral affairs and safeguard the common interests of the developing countries, Yang said China appreciates Pakistan's support for its Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative and is ready to work with Pakistan to implement the initiatives so as to make Asia and the world safer, more peaceful and prosperous.
For his part, Sharif said developing relations with China is the cornerstone of his country's foreign policy.
Pakistan firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China in safeguarding its core interests and its positions on major concerns, he said, adding that the Pakistani government and people appreciate China for its long-term selfless assistance and are ready to learn from China's successful experience in economic development and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister stressed that China has bright prospects for development, and no force can hold back China's development and growth.
Pakistan stands ready to work with China to deepen practical cooperation in all fields, speed up the construction of CPEC and push the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two sides to a new high, he added.
The GDI and GSI meet the expectations of the international community, Sharif said, adding that the initiatives will surely play an important role in maintaining peace, stability and promoting development, prosperity in the region and the world at large.
Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in maintaining regional security and stability, promoting regional development and combating terrorism.
During his visit, Yang also met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Besides Pakistan, Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe and Mozambique from June 29 to July 4.
Yang's visits are at the invitation of the governments of the four countries, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday in Beijing.
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