Bilawal’s visit to China an important step to boost Pak-Sino ties
Editor's note: The writer is the founder of Friends of BRI Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto embarked his maiden visit to China at the invitation of Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China. Both sides met in Guangzhou, China and agreed on pushing relations to new heights. The visit coincides with the celebration of the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. Both sides discussed and reached consensus on deepening economic engagement and CPEC cooperation.
China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership that withstood the test of times based on close strategic communication. Prior to this visit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on May 16 talked over phone with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on bilateral ties. These exchanges reflect that both sides are closer to cooperate and communicate.
The significance of this visit lies in the context of the meeting. Islamabad has a new government that is looking forward to closely working with China. CPEC is in its second phase where new initiatives and industrialization are progressing in a robust manner. At the same time, the US is changing its stance towards Pakistan. All these factors coincided with the rise of terrorism incidents in Pakistan targeting Chinese nationals, consisting of both traditional and non-traditional threats, with growing global friction of big powers.
During the meeting between the two foreign ministers, there were five consensuses. The first one was about the political solidarity and ·cooperation between the two nations, which is the foundation for a shared Pak-China future in a rapidly changing world. Both sides will support each other’s core interests and major global and regional concerns.
The second was about terrorism, where there is a clear understanding of the fact that no power on earth can undermine the Pakistan-China friendship. Discussions on combating this menace through bilateral/multilateral forums like Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS-SCO) are important.
Pakistan has reiterated its full commitment to take security measures against terrorism. Pakistan is in fact facing the challenge of rising terrorism and attacks on its forces these days. Pakistan is working to ensure that the security of all the Chinese installations and nationals in the country are safe.
Another important discussion was on CPEC which is under the second phase of industrial and agriculture development with socio-economic life transformation processing in full swing and cooperation in IT, industrialization, transportation infrastructure, and improvement of economic development is being tapped.
China is supporting Pakistan to maintain its economic stability, not only through investment, but also by offering Pakistan advantages of China’s large markets. It is important to note that both sides also discussed the facilitation of necessary measures to exchange personnel during the pandemic, and the returning of students from Pakistan was discussed as well.
It is important to note Pakistan's support for China’s Global Security Initiative and its willingness to work with other countries on this important step by China to implement the UN2030 Agenda. This is the right path towards growth and togetherness amid this challenging time.
Finally, there is a joint consensus to oppose on Cold War mentality, zero-sum games, and camp confrontation. Pakistan and China have always consolidated and stood with each other towards building an inclusive regional and global cooperation framework where there is equality in issues and opportunities for dialogue.
As the friendship between China and Pakistan gets more than seven decades old, turning into gold, there is a lot to cherish about. Pak-Cheen Dosti Zindabad.