Pakistan-China strategic dialogue next week


ISLAMABAD:

Next week, Pakistan and China are slated to engage in a significant strategic dialogue, a yearly meeting where the pair evaluates the breadth of their relationship, as well as addressing common concerns on regional and global stages, a statement by the foreign office elaborated.

From the 13th to the 16th of May, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar will make his way to Beijing for these talks, as confirmed in the announcement released on Saturday by the foreign office.

Dar is set to share the responsibility of the Fifth Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with his counterpart, the Chinese Foreign Minister and Director of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, Wang Yi.

The meeting agenda covers a comprehensive examination of Pakistan-China relations, including their economic trade cooperation, the frequency of high-profile visits, developments with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and planning for future routes of connectivity, the statement noted.

The leaders plan to deliberate on dynamic regional geopolitical shifts and coordinate their collaborative efforts at various international platforms.

Additionally, during the dialogue, Dar is anticipated to engage with notable Chinese officials, ministers, and business leaders.

This visit is another step in the frequent and significant exchanges between Pakistan and China.

Read also: Dar’s upcoming trip to China

“The meetings emphasize the depth of commitment of both nations to strengthen the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’, to reaffirm steadfast mutual backing on pivotal concerns, to bolster economic and trade ties inclusive of the CPEC, and to fortify the united pledge to the cause of regional peace and growth,” the foreign office statement articulated.

Furthermore, there will be a CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) convention in Beijing to survey projects under the initiative.

Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is expected to embark on his inaugural visit to China in the initial days of June since his reinstatement following the February 8 elections.

Pakistan holds its relationship with China in high regard, crucial to its interests. Despite external influence from some Western entities advising a reassessment of its alliance with China, Islamabad remains committed to prioritizing its relationship with Beijing.

China has proven a steadfast ally of Pakistan, offering critical support at important moments. Last year, China’s timely extension of loan repayments prevented a financial crisis for Pakistan. Additionally, China, with its permanent membership at the UNSC, has consistently advocated for Pakistan’s essential interests on a global scale.

However, concerns are rising in China regarding the safety of its citizens in Pakistan, particularly with the recent terrorist activity on March 26 in Besham, which resulted in the loss of five Chinese engineers. It represented the latest in a series of assaults targeting Chinese workers.

In response, Pakistan has reassured to deliver absolute security and has vowed to seek out and hold accountable those behind the violence. The investigation into the Besham tragedy revealed the perpetrator was an Afghan national and that the supporting terrorist network is associated with the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

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