PM urges deeper cooperation between Pakistan, China

SHANGHAI – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday held a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and discussed bilateral relations and matters relating to mutual interest.

He said that inclusion of Chinese currency Yuan in world economic system was a milestone and it was the recognition of the economic progress and achievements of China by the world community. He congratulated the Chinese premier for conducting successful 14th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

During the meeting, the prime minister called for deeper cooperation between the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation and the Pakistan Air Force on international sales. He vowed to provide security to Chinese citizens working in Pakistan on various projects of paramount importance, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“I am satisfied with the progress on CPEC projects,” he said, adding that Pakistan hoped for all the projects under the CPEC to be implemented in a timely and efficient manner. “We have established a Special Security Division (SSD) that will be operational by December 2015 to ensure safety of Chinese nationals.”

He said that the Gwadar Security Task Force had already been mobilised. He assured his Chinese counterpart that military operations Zarb-e-Azb and the National Action Plan were being successfully implemented.

He asked the Chinese side to allow Pakistan to open a trade-cum-visa office in Urumqi province to facilitate the CPEC implementation and people-to-people exchanges. “I proposed the mechanism of a steering committee between Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and China which will supervise process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and coordinate efforts in this regard.”

“We are in the process of evolving terms of reference and a concept paper of the proposed committee. We will keep close coordination with China in that regard and in deliberations of the committee,” he said.

He apprised the Chinese premier of his recent meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Islamabad last week for the Heart of Asia conference. He said that the meetings had yielded encouraging results, adding that both India and Pakistan had agreed to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue process.

He said that Pakistan and China are celebrating a Year of “Friendly Exchanges” and next year would be the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

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