Analytical Overview on Pakistan-China Joint Statement

By Farhat Asif | Gwadar Pro Feb 8, 2022

Editor's note: The writer is the President Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang had detailed delegation-level in-depth discussions with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games 2022. At the end of the meeting, both sides issued an important thirty-three pointer joint statement covering diverse dimensions of relations between the two nations. This joint statement has set the tone for a new era of development and cooperation in economic, strategic, security, development and people to people levels building on Pakistan-China community for a shared future.

During the meetings, both sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and strengthen institutional linkages at all levels. The statement covered the details of Pakistan-China All-Weather Friendship, especially CPEC, joint economic development, cooperation in building regional connectivity, and peace together.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s participation in the Winter Olympic Games is a mark of strength in iron brotherhood and solidarity with China, significantly when the world is marred with politicization, bias, and rising conflicts amongst states. Since China and Pakistan are strong proponents of fairness and justice in the international political systems, this renewed cooperation outlines contours on how to move jointly for building global and regional peace.

China is at the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan has always extended unwavering support to the One-China policy on Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjian, Tibet, and the South China Sea. While on the other hand, the Chinese side has similar support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence, and security, along with extending support to its socio-economic development and prosperity. Both sides continuously supported each other on the issues and the matters closer to the national ethos of each state.

To foster forward strategic cooperation, three dialogues have been held at the level of the Foreign Ministers of both sides. Pakistan and China also have robust defense cooperation, and China recognizes Pakistan’s heroic fight against terrorism. On security cooperation, both states agree on building cooperation in strengthening effective security mechanisms for CPEC personnel and projects. In the past, CPEC has faced negative propaganda and security threats. There is now a joint resolve to mitigate these threats, and this needs to expand the effective use of new emerging digital technologies.

Since in 2015, CPEC has contributed immensely to Pakistan’s overall economic health. Moreover, it promoted Pakistan’s image in the world as an investment-friendly country. A given statement has covered the ongoing cooperation comprehensively between Pakistan and China on CPEC. Especially the impact that CPEC has created ripples in the geo-economics and geostrategic levels through increasing investments, cooperation, promoting trade and connectivity options wherein countries like Afghanistan are beneficiaries. CPEC has transformed Pakistan’s trade ecosystems, creating opportunities for Pakistan to build its industrial base. Trade between Pakistan and China has increased, including capitalizing on the second phase of the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement. This agreement was signed when Prime Minister Khan visited China in 2019. This agreement aims to build up to USD 17-20 billion bilateral trade. Another step is cooperating on building e-commerce platforms and building logistics, warehouses, and custom facilitation. Like the crown of CPEC, Gwadar has a particular focus on overall CPEC cooperation. Both sides also agreed to provide maximum attention to making Gwadar port and adjacent airport operational soon and providing support to locals for their wellbeing.

CPEC Joint action committee has been tasked to enhance comprehensive cooperation, especially on trade, infrastructure, industrial development, agriculture transformation, scientific and technological cooperation, and socio-economic wellbeing of the people. This people-centric approach has remained the cornerstone of China’s reform and opening-up period that has resulted in the uplifting of 770 million people out of poverty while at the same van Pakistan’s Ehsas program is building on similar lines to support and uplift people from the shackles of poverty.

Cooperation in Education, vocational training, people-to-people contacts, tourism, cultural cooperation, and exchange of civilization treasures will lead to Pakistan's comprehensive progress.

Apart from various other cooperation fields, both sides extended support to each other during the early pandemic times. It was a strong reflection of the time-tested friendship wherein China has provided Pakistan with the vaccine and other health care equipment to support in its massive national level vaccination campaign. Such high levels of cooperation between both sides manifests strong resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other to build a common prosperity for mankind.




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