President Xi conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to Modi, says Chinese official

Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the forceful annexation of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) during the recent Sino-Indian summit at Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, said a Chinese foreign ministry official.

Speaking to a select group of journalists from Pakistan, the official said that China will keep playing its role to defuse tensions between the two South Asian neighbors and said that President Xi was working to restart dialogue between Pakistan and India.

“We want both Pakistan and India to re-engage in talks. We would not be acting as mediators but would like to facilitate talks,” said the Chinese official.

“We understand that Pakistan is concerned about the situation in Kashmir. Pakistan is expressing restraint and so is India in many respects, but the issues both countries are dealing with are very complex in nature and these complexities pose a big challenge,” the official said.

The official added that China wants India to play a constructive role in regional peace and development.

“We also have border disputes with India but we have not held our relationship hostage to those disputes,” he said, adding, “We have a strong and trustful partnership with Pakistan and we will stand by Pakistan through thick and thin,” the official said.

UPCOMING JCC TO ADD NEW IMPETUS TO CPEC’S SECOND STAGE:

The official said that Beijing believes the upcoming meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) set to be held in November will mark the ushering of the economic corridor into the next stage.

“The (upcoming) JCC would add new impetus to the CPEC’s second phase. ML-I project can be secured at the JCC. China is determined to help Pakistan overcome its economic challenges and we are carefully discussing issues with Pakistan,” the official said.

The official said that China doesn’t want to burden Pakistan with debts. He said China welcomes the formation of the CPEC authority and hopes that CPEC would make strong progress. The official said that Islamabad and Beijing are on one page on international issues. He said that the two countries were working as key partners for the prosperity of the region.

“The PM’s recent visit was very positive. We discussed all issues and agreed on most of them. We will always remain iron brothers and would stand together on international and regional issues. Pakistan and China are engaged in top-level communication to implement all bilateral contracts,” he said and added that China and Pakistan will work together for a shared future.

He mentioned China’s great support to Pakistan in sectors of security, trade and infrastructure development. He said that CPEC is the largest comprehensive project China has invested in any country.

He said that CPEC was a fusion of multiple development projects, aimed at the prosperity and well-being of citizens of the country and the region at large.

The official said CPEC had huge economic benefits for the people of Pakistan and the region. He said China wants to see Pakistan as a strong economic power and that both countries already have good economic and defence ties.

PAKISTAN, CHINA TRADE SET TO TOUCH NEW HIGHS, SAYS AMB HASHMI:

Pakistan’s ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi said that Pakistan and China were close friends, partners and brotherly countries and that the bilateral trade volume between the two countries had now touched $19.08 billion and was expected to increase in the coming years.

“This relationship has developed with continuous efforts of successive generations of leaders and diplomats from both countries,” she said at a luncheon in honour of visiting Pakistani journalists.

The ambassador said that she was committed to working closely with her counterparts in China to further develop this deep-rooted friendship.

“The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China is rising. Pakistan and China are historically connected through the cultural and knowledge corridor,” she maintained.

Ambassador Hashmi said that people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges have increased. “Hence, despite different political systems, social orientations, cultural roots and heritage, Pakistan and China are a unique example of civilizational harmony and peaceful coexistence,” the envoy said.

She said that CPEC was inspired by President Xi’ Jinping’s vision of regional connectivity and a people-centric development model.

She said PM Imran Khan’s visit to China was a success and had reasserted Pakistan’s commitment to upholding the relationship. “Imran Khan has come closer to China. The new (Pakistan) government has shown commitment to work with China,” she concluded.

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