By: The Hindu
China and Pakistan on Sunday decided to strengthen communication and coordination in regional affairs on “hotspot issues” like Afghanistan, and agreed to “advance pragmatic cooperation” in pursuit of common development and enhance collaboration in border management.
In a joint statement issued at the end of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day visit to Pakistan, the two countries reiterated their resolve to work in tandem on major
international issues including United Nations reform, climate change, and food and energy security. Earlier, addressing a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, Mr. Wen assured Pakistan of China’s steadfast support while maintaining that terrorism should not be linked to any one country or religion.
Acknowledging Pakistan as an important member state of the region, the Chinese leader said Islamabad played a vital role in safeguarding peace, security and stability. “The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan has made great efforts and endured great sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and reiterated that it respects the counter-terrorism strategy constituted and implemented by Pakistan in light of its own national conditions,” said the statement.
The two countries reaffirmed their resolve to cooperate through bilateral and multilateral frameworks to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism — all of which threaten regional peace, stability and security. On the specific issue of Afghanistan, the two voiced support for the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and also Kabul’s bid to advance peace, reconstruction and national reconciliation.
Rejoicing in their enduring relationship that turns 60 next year, China and Pakistan shared the view that “against the backdrop of a complex and ever-changing international and regional situation, it is of high significance to consolidate and deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation”.
In keeping with this spirit, both voiced respect for each other’s territorial integrity and the joint statement reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the One China policy. Pakistan also supported the “peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China’s reunification” and the efforts made by the Chinese government to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
On developmental matters, China and Pakistan have decided to intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. Currency swap arrangements will be established and qualified Pakistani banks will be allowed to open branches in China.
While the possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones will be explored by both sides, Pakistan has decided to establish a Special Economic Zone for Chinese businesses to attract more investment from China.