Pakistan-China Joint Statement on the occasion of the Third Belt and Road Forum, 2023
At the invitation of President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan visited China from October 16 to 20, 2023 to attend the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
In Beijing, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar. The Prime Minister of Pakistan also met with Premier Li Qiang and Mr. Li Xi, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. In a warm and cordial atmosphere, leaders of the two countries had in-depth exchanges of views and reached extensive consensus on strengthening the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, practical cooperation in various areas, and international and regional issues of mutual interest. The two sides reaffirmed that mutual trust remains at the core of China-Pakistan relationship.
The two sides agreed that China and Pakistan are All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners and iron brothers; friendship between the two countries is time-tested and unbreakable. The Chinese side reiterated that the China-Pakistan relationship is a priority in its foreign relations. The Pakistani side underscored that the Pakistan-China relationship is the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The two sides will continue to view the relationship between China and Pakistan from a strategic and long-term perspective, move forward together on the path of development, and accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan Community with a Shared Future in the new era.
The two sides reaffirmed their support for each other on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns. The Pakistani side reaffirmed its firm commitment to the one-China Principle and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and Pakistan firmly supports the Chinese government’s efforts to achieve national reunification, and opposes any form of “Taiwan independence.” Pakistan firmly supports China on issues concerning the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Xizang. The Chinese side reiterated its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity, in pursuing a development path of economic stability suited to Pakistan’s national conditions, in fighting terrorism, and in playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs.
The Pakistani side warmly congratulated the Chinese side on its successful organization of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Chinese side commended Pakistan’s consistent support for and participation in Belt and Road cooperation. The two sides recognized that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a strong driver of world economic growth, provides a platform for international economic cooperation, opens up space for common development around the globe, and has become a widely welcomed international public good as well as an important practice in building a community with a shared future for mankind. Both sides agreed to work more closely together on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and usher in a bright future of peace, development and win-win cooperation.
The two sides recognized that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a pioneering project of the BRI, has yielded fruitful outcomes in the 10 years since its inception, and has now entered a new stage of high-quality development. The two sides reaffirmed the resolve to jointly build a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor, and continue to build CPEC into an exemplary project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Recognizing the significance of Gwadar Port as an important node in cross-regional connectivity, the two sides agreed to speed up development of the Port and its auxiliary projects. The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the progress of the desalination plant, the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), the Pak-China Friendship Hospital and other projects. Both sides reiterated their resolve to make Gwadar a high-quality port, a regional trade hub and a connectivity node.
Recognizing that the ML-1 upgradation is an important project under the CPEC framework and is of great significance to Pakistan’s social and economic development, the two sides agreed to carry out the common understanding of the leaders of the two countries to implement the project at an early date. The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the important progress made in the preliminary work of the Karakoram Highway (Raikot-Thakot section) realignment project and agreed to fast track its implementation.
The two sides affirmed their resolve to further move forward to launch preparatory work for D.I. Khan-Zhob Road Project to build momentum towards enhancing connectivity and socio-economic development of Pakistan, under CPEC.
The Chinese side appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani side to vigorously develop Photovoltaic and other renewable energy projects, which are in alignment with the green, low carbon and environmentally friendly development of the energy sector. Both sides encourage Chinese companies to further participate in the development of such projects in line with normal commercial principles to achieve win-win outcomes.
The two sides agreed to actively promote the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation to support Pakistan’s industrialization, and encourage Chinese companies to set up manufacturing facilities in Pakistan. The two sides reiterate that CPEC is an open and inclusive platform for win-win cooperation, and welcome third parties to benefit from investments in CPEC cooperation priority areas such as industry, agriculture, ICT, science and technology.
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the mining industry, including in the fields of geological survey, joint research on geology and minerals, training of talent, and planning of mining industrial parks.
The two sides recognized that agricultural cooperation between the two countries is rich in potential, and that sound progress has been made in crop breeding and pest control projects especially under the framework of CPEC. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as crop cultivation, prevention and control of animal and plant diseases, agricultural mechanization, exchange of agricultural technology, and trade in agricultural products.
The two sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation under the framework of the CPEC Joint Working Group on Information Technology Industry, jointly improve the construction and management of digital infrastructure, advance cooperation in cutting-edge technologies and the capacity building for information technology service, and promote high-quality development of the digital economy.
The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the positive results achieved under the CPEC Working Group on Socio-Economic Cooperation. The Pakistani side appreciated China’s assistance for Pakistan’s post-flood reconstruction and recovery. China will continue to support Pakistan in improving people’s livelihood and post-disaster reconstruction, with priority to implementing effective livelihood assistance projects, to deliver social and economic benefits, especially to the most affected and vulnerable people, in line with the concept of ‘shared prosperity’.
The Chinese side expressed its willingness to support Pakistan in expanding exports to China under the framework of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, and will help Pakistan improve its export capacity through experience sharing, special studies, expert exchanges and personnel training. The Pakistani side welcomes more Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan and informed about the recent initiatives for improving investment climate, initiatives and creation of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). The Chinese side appreciates Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate Chinese investments and businesses in Pakistan.
The two sides acknowledged the recent momentum for increase in business exchanges between the two countries and further resolved to facilitate B2B exchanges. Both sides agreed to make efforts to enhance the level of bilateral people-to-people exchanges and facilitation.
The two sides noted the signing of the protocols on the export of heated beef and dried chili from Pakistan to China, the obtainment of Pakistani fresh cherries’ quarantine access to the Chinese market, and the agreement reached on the export access of Pakistani dairy products and animal hides to China this year. China welcomes more high-quality Pakistani products and more qualified Pakistani enterprises to enter the Chinese market.
The two sides believe that the Khunjerab pass plays an important role in promoting bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides announced that the Khunjerab pass will function all year round, and agreed to step up the infrastructure construction and management of the Khunjerab pass and improve its passage conditions.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress of cooperation on Currency Swap Agreement and Renminbi settlement and clearing, and agreed to further strengthen financial and banking cooperation. Pakistani side thanked China’s valuable support for its financial sector.
The two sides expressed their strong resolve to strengthen their longstanding space cooperation through deepening exchange programmes, resource mobilization and innovation to drive signal advancements in space science, technology and space application. Both sides were satisfied with the cooperation documents on International Lunar Research Station signed by the space authorities and agreed to advance progress in exploring outer space to propel both nations to take lead in the cutting edge space missions, ushering in an era of scientific breakthrough and unprecedented discoveries for the betterment of humanity and advancement of our civilizations.
The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that Kashmir is a long-standing dispute left from history that should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
The two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Chinese side recognized Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices in combating terrorism. The two sides agreed to further enhance counter-terrorism cooperation to promote world peace and security. The Pakistani side reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan, and to hold accountable the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks targeting Chinese personnel. The Chinese side appreciated the great efforts taken by the Pakistani side in this regard. Both sides expressed complete satisfaction over ongoing bilateral security cooperation and agreed to strengthen it further.
The two sides noted with satisfaction the enhanced cultural cooperation in the ongoing Year of China-Pakistan Tourism exchanges. Both sides particularly commended the success of joint Gandhara Art Exhibition held at the Palace Museum and welcomed the conversion of the event into a touring exhibition in different parts of China. The Pakistan side welcomed the inclusion of Pakistan in the list of countries approved for outbound group tourism by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China. The two sides agreed to continue to strengthen the exchanges between the tourism sector of the two countries.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the close cooperation, trust and communication between the armed forces of the two countries. Underscoring that stronger strategic defence and security cooperation between China and Pakistan is an important factor of peace and stability in the region, the two sides agreed to maintain high-level mil-to-mil visits and exchanges and deepen cooperation in areas of training, joint exercises and military technology.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and to jointly upholding the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Both sides stand for unity and cooperation of the international community, oppose hegemonism and power politics, adhere to true multilateralism, and promote humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom.
The Pakistani side expressed strong support for Chinese leadership’s vision of openness, regional connectivity, economic integration and willingness to share technology. Pakistan will continue to support the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative put forward by the Chinese side, and highly commended China’s efforts to safeguard the rights of developing countries for sustainable development. The above-mentioned initiatives call on the international community to attach importance to the issue of development and revitalize the global partnership for development, stress the need to pursue the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and emphasize respect for the diversity in world civilizations and uphold the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations. The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation within the framework of the above-mentioned initiatives and jointly promote development, security and cultural prosperity to contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination on the issue of Afghanistan and jointly uphold regional peace and stability.
The two sides expressed deep concerns over the current escalation of tensions and violence between Palestine and Israel, and called for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and every possible effort to protect civilians and avert an even worse humanitarian disaster in Gaza. Both sides reiterated that the fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine. The international community needs to act with greater urgency, step up input into the Palestinian question, facilitate the early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and find a way to bring about enduring peace.
Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar thanked the leadership and people of China for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation, and invited President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan at an early date on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan. The two sides agree to maintain communication on that through diplomatic channels.
During the visit, the two sides signed 20 agreements and MoUs, covering cooperation on the BRI, infrastructure, mining, industry, green and low-carbon development, health, space cooperation, digital economy, development cooperation and export of agricultural products to China.