Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the landmark visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping would usher in a new era of development in Pakistan and start a new chapter in the friendship between the two countries. Pakistan attaches highest priority to its strategic cooperative partnership with China, he said.
He said this while talking to President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, at the PM Office here today. The Chinese President is on his first state visit to Pakistan since assuming office in 2013. This is also the President's first foreign visit in 2015, which underscores the importance he attaches to Pakistan.
The two leaders had a one-on-one meeting in addition to delegation-level talks.
The meetings reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries, in addition to exchanging views on regional issues and international developments.
While welcoming the Chinese President to Pakistan, the Prime Minister said the strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China is without parallel in the annals of international relations. Pakistan's relationship with China enjoys across-the-board political, institutional and popular support that is unique and sets it apart from other relationships. While noting that high-level exchanges are the hallmark of Pakistan-China relations, the Prime Minister said the landmark visit of President Xi Jinping would further strengthen the all-weather friendship between the two countries.
The Prime Minister appreciated President Xi Jinping's vision for enhanced cooperation with Asian countries, which demonstrates China's commitment to sharing the fruits of its progress with underdeveloped countries. Describing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a core component of President Xi's vision for "One Road, One Belt", the Prime Minister said the CPEC will transform the economic dimension of the two countries' bilateral relationship.
The Prime Minister noted that President Xi's visit would inject impetus into the project as it enters the implementation stage. Wide-ranging cooperation conceived under the CPEC, from Gwadar to energy and transport infrastructure projects, would transform Pakistan's economy and have a profound impact on the lives of all Pakistanis, he said.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan acknowledges that investment by major Chinese public and private sector enterprises in Pakistan is one of the largest influxes of foreign capital in Pakistan.
He noted with pleasure that majority of these projects has been initiated during the tenure of the present government that are now nearing implementation and commissioning stages. These projects would not only hugely impact Pakistan's economy but also boost the confidence of international investors in the entire region, he added.
The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that projects under the CPEC will create new job opportunities for Pakistan's professional and skilled workers. The Chinese groups and companies will also have long term benefit from investment in Pakistan opening up new trade and investment linkages between the business communities of the two countries, he said.
The Chinese President said relations between China and Pakistan have developed into a strong tree having deep roots, nurtured by several generations of leadership of both the countries.
He regarded Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as a senior and seasoned statesman. "After coming into power your government initiated far reaching reforms which are very important for Pakistan. Your efforts against terrorism are highly appreciable," he said.
He said relations between the two countries have stood the test of time and have always remained healthy and strong.
President Xi expressed confidence that Pakistan would continue to make progress and attain more successes in future with the solid commitment of its leadership towards development. He informed the Prime Minister that China wanted its relations with Pakistan to be a model for "Community of shared destiny". President Xi hailed the two countries' decision to upgrade their friendship into an "All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership" as a landmark moment in the rich history of their relationship.
Afterwards the two countries also concluded a number of Documents, Agreements/MoUs relating to several important areas including development projects in the infrastructure, energy, and communication sectors under the ambit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. These included:
1- Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on establishing the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
2- Minutes of the 4th JCC of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
3- Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
4- Exchange of Notes of feasibility study of the Demonstration Project of the DTMB between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
5- Exchange of notes on provision of Anti-Narcotics Equipment between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
6- Exchange of notes on provision of Law Enforcement Equipment between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
7- Exchange of Notes on Feasibility Study of Gwadar Hospital between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
8- MOU on provision of Chinese Governmental concessional Loan for second phase up-gradation of Karakorum Highway (Havelian to Thakot) between Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
9- MOU on provision of Chinese Governmental concessional Loan for Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Multan to Sukkur) between Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
10- MOU on provision of Chinese Governmental concessional Loan for Gwadar port East Bay Expressway Project between Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
11- MOU on provision of Chinese Governmental concessional Loan for Gwadar International Airport between Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
12- Protocol on Banking Services to Agreement on Trade in Services between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
13- MOU on provision of Material for Tackling Climate Change between National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Finance (EAD) of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
14- Framework Agreement on Cooperation on Major Communications Infrastructure Project between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
15- MOU on Cooperation between NDRC of the People’s Republic of China and ministry of Planning Development and Reform of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
16- MOU on Pro Bono Projects in the Port of Gwadar Region between Ministry for Planning, Development and Reform of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
17- MOU on establishment of China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory between the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
18- Framework Agreement between the National Railway Administration, Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Railways, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Joint Feasibility Study for up-gradation of ML1 and Establishment of Havelain Dry port of Pakistan Railways.
19- Protocol on the Establishment of China-Pakistan Joint Marine Research Center between State Oceanic Administration of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
20- MOU on cooperation between the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Films and Television of China and Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage of Pakistan.
21- Triple Party Agreement between China Central Television and PTV and Pakistan Television Foundation on the re-broadcasting of CCTV-NEWS/CCTV -9 Documentary in Pakistan.
22- Protocol on establishment of Sister Cities Relationship between Chengdu city Sichuan Province of PRC and Lahore City.
23- Protocol on establishment of Sister Cities Relationshipbetween Zhuhai City, Guangdong province of the People’s Republic of China and Gwadar city, Balochistan of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
24- Protocol on establishment of Sister Cities Relationship between Karamay City, XianjianUgur, autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China and Gwadar city, Balochistan of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
25- Framework Agreement between NEA and MoPNRon Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project.
26- Commercial Contract on Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
27- Agreement on financing for Lahore Orange line Metro Train project.
28- MOU on financing for KKH up-gradation Phase-2 (Havelian to Takot), KLM, Gwadar East Bay Expressway, Gwadar International Airport Projects.
29- Financing Agreement relating to the 870 MW Hydro-Electric Suki Kinari Hydropower Project between EXIM Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and SK Hydro (Private) Limited.
30- Financing Cooperation Agreement between the EXIM Bank of China and Port Qasim Electric Power Company (Private) Limited (on Port Qasim 2x660MW Coal-fired Power Plant).
31- Framework Facility Agreement for 720MW Karot Hydropower Project between China Development Bank Corporation, EXIM Bank of China and Karot Power Company (Private) Limited.
32- Term Sheet of the facility for Zonergy 9x100 MW solar project in Punjab between China Development Bank Corporation, EXIM Bank of China and Zonergy Company limited.
33- Drawdown Agreement on Jhimpir wind Power project between UEP Wind power (Private) Limited as Borrower and China Development Bank Corporation as lender.
34- Terms and Conditions in favor of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company for Thar Block II 3.8Mt/a mining Project, Sindh province, Pakistan Arranged by China Development Bank Corporation.
35- Terms and Conditions in favor of Engro Powergen Thar (Private) Limited, Sindh province, Pakistan for Thar Block II 2x330MW Coal Fired Power Project Arranged by China Development Bank Corporation.
36- Framework Agreement of Financing Cooperation in Implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor between China Development Corporation and HBL.
37- MOU with respect to Cooperation between WAPDA and CTG.
38- MOU among PPIB, CTG, and Silk Road Fund on Development of Private Hydro Power Projects.
39- Facility operating Agreement for Dawood Wind Power project between ICBC and PCC of China and HDPPL.
40- Framework Agreement for Promoting Chinese Investments and industrial Parks Developments in Pakistan between ICBC and HBL on financial services corporation.
41- The financing term sheet agreement for Thar Block –I between ICBC, SSRL.
42- Energy Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement between Punjab Province of Pakistan and China Huaneng Group.
43- Framework Agreement on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Energy Project Cooperation between Ministry of Water & Power and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE).
44- Cooperation Agreement between Sino-Sindh Resources (Pvt.) Ltd and Shanghai Electric Group for Thar Coalfield Block I Coal-Power integrated Project in Pakistan.
45- Cooperation Agreement for Matiyari-Lahore and Matyari (Port Qasim)-Faisalabad Transmission and Transformation Project between National Transmission Distribution Company (NTDC) and National Grid of China.
46- IA on Port Qasim Coal fired Power Plant between Power China and GoP.
47- Facility Agreement for the Sahiwal Coal-fired Power Plant Project between industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Huaneng Shandong Electricity limited and Shandong Ruyi Group.
48- Cooperation Agreement on Hubco Coal-fired Power Plant Project between CPIH and Hubco Power Company.
49- Facilitation Agreement on Salt Range Coal-fired Power Project between CMEC and Punjab Government.
50- MOU between NUML Pakistan and Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi China for Cooperation on Higher Education.
51- Agreement on collaboration on establishment of NUML International Center of education (NICE) between NUML Pakistan and Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi, China.
On this occasion the two leaders inaugurated the following projects by unveiling the plaques:
1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Lahore Branch.
2. Energization of 100 MW solar power plants at Quad-i-Azam solar park, Bahawalpur.
3. FM 98 Dosti Channel studio PBC-CRI, Islamabad.
4. Demonstration project of DTMB Broadcasting in Pakistan.
5. China Cultural center Pakistan.
6. China-Pakistan Joint Research Center for small hydropower, Islamabad.
7. China-pakistan cross-border optical fiber cable system project.
8. Metro rail transit system on the Orange Line in Lahore.
Ground breaking of following power projects was also jointly done by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping via video link:
1- Karot 720 MW Hydropower project.
2- Dawood 50 MW Wind-power project.
3- Sachal 50 MW Wind-power project.
4- Zonergy 900 MW solar project.
5- Jhimpir 100 MW Wind-power project.
The two leaders also addressed a joint press stakeout.
Text of Prime Minister's statement is given below while news story based on the text of Chinese President's statement would be released separately:
"It gives me immense pleasure to most warmly welcome His Excellency Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China. He is the leader of our great neighbor – China – and an international statesman.
"President Xi is also a dear brother and a great friend of Pakistan. Our entire nation receives him with immense affection.
"Pakistan-China friendship is best captured by poetry when the streets of our two countries echo with the ex
"There is strong public sentiment driving our relationship but there is also solid basis to it.
"The most prominent hallmarks of our relations are consistency and resilience. Times have changed. There have been political changes in China and Pakistan; and there have been major regional and international developments. But our ties have remained robust. Four generations of our leaders and people have sustained them with passion and wisdom. Today we have planned for the future.
"Our relations are based on the shared ideals and principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual respect.
Chinese Presidents’ visits to Pakistan have always been historic. This visit too is historic. It is a watershed in the history of our relations.
"Together with President Xi, we have taken momentous decisions that will raise Pakistan-China relations to new heights and have deep and far reaching impact for our common economic future and peace and stability in the region.
"Today we have decided to elevate our relationship to All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
"We reviewed regional and international developments and agreed to make coordinated efforts for peace and security in the region. I informed the President that Pakistan desires a peaceful neighborhood to focus on pursuing growth and delivering prosperity to the people. To this end, we want peaceful relations with all our neighbours.
"We discussed the full spectrum of our bilateral relations and decided to strengthen them further in the strategic, political, economic and cultural spheres.
"We noted with satisfaction that the two countries have made excellent progress in expanding the economic dimension of our relationship, which has been the priority of both governments.
"We have launched several projects under the framework of path-breaking China Pakistan Economic Corridor that would spur growth of Pakistan’s critical sectors of infrastructure, energy and industry. We are starting a fresh phase in our geo-economic partnership that would create new jobs, start businesses, promote education and professional training, and help eradicate poverty.
"This Corridor will benefit all provinces and areas in Pakistan and transform our country into a regional hub and pivot for commerce and investment. It will also enable China to create a shorter and cheaper route for trade and investment with South, Central and West Asia; and the Middle East and Africa. This Corridor will become a symbol for peace and prosperity.
"Today the two sides have signed 51 agreements and MOUs for projects, which have sound financial and technical backing and are being put on a fast track.
"President Xi welcomed the resolute steps taken by Pakistan to counter the menace of terrorism and extremism, especially since the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants and terrorists. He also recognized the sacrifices being rendered by the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan, in our effort to root out the menace of militancy and terrorism.
"We have resolved to continue to cooperate to fight terrorism until we have cleansed our soils of this evil. I assured President Xi that Pakistan considers China’s security as important as its own security.
"The visit allowed us to coordinate our positions on important multilateral issues, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Both countries affirmed their common desire to work closely to secure our interests in the UN reform process.
"President Xi Jinping has endorsed Pakistan’s bid for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a full member. We appreciate China’s support in this regard.
"Pakistan welcomes China’s policy of increased engagement with its neighbouring countries. We share President Xi’s vision for peace and prosperity in the region, which would be built on the dual principles of comprehensive security and win-win cooperation.
"We envisaged and planned more frequent people to people contacts, in this year of friendly exchanges, between think tanks, media, youth, academics, and artists.
"Let me reiterate: “Friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.”
"With these brief remarks, I have the pleasure to invite His Excellency President Xi Jinping for his comments."
Earlier in the day, the President and Prime Minister along with First Lady, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz received the Chinese President and First Lady, Madam Peng Liyuan, upon their arrival at the Nur Khan airbase, Rawalpindi. A group of JF-17 fighter aircraft, the result of Pakistan-China defense collaboration, escorted the special plane of the Chinese President as it entered Pakistan's air space and presented salute to the visiting dignitary upon his arrival. Ms. Maryam Nawaz, Lady in Waiting will be with the Chinese First Lady during her two-day stay in Pakistan.
President Xi was presented guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces, along with a 21-gun salute. Chinese President and First Lady were presented bouquets and flower petals were showered on them. School children dressed in Pakistani and Chinese traditional dresses sang Chinese a national song.
The Chinese President is accompanied by a large delegation, comprising senior Ministers, high-level functionaries of the Communist Party, and senior government officials. CEOs from a wide spectrum of business houses of China are also included in the delegation.
Pakistan and China are celebrating 2015 as the 'Year of Friendly Exchanges' and the visit of Chinese President is the most important event of this year.
The delegation-level talks were attended by Mr. Wang Huning, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee; Mr. Li Zhanshu, Member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee; Mr. Yang Jiechi, State Councilor; Mr. Wang Yi, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Xu Shaoshi, Chairman NDRC; Mr. Gao Hucheng, Chinese Minister for Commerce; Mr. Liu He, Chief of Finance and Economic Leading Group and Mr. Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad, from the Chinese side. From the Pakistan side, the participants included Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab; Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to PM; Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance; Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power/ Defense; Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning; Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Commerce; Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum; Mr. Tariq Fatemi, SAPM; Mr. Javed Aslam, Secretary to PM; Mr. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Secretary Foreign Affairs and Mr. Masood Khalid, Pakistan's Ambassador to China along with other senior government officials.
In the evening the Prime Minister hosted a banquet in honour of the Chinese President and his wife which was attended by federal ministers, services chiefs and senior government officials.
The banquet, followed by a cultural show including performances by military band and traditional dances, was also attended by former President, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari; Chairman Senate, Mr. Raza Rabbani; Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Ayaz Sadiq; Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif; Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik; Leader of Opposition in National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah and PML-Q leader, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
The Chinese President also planted a sapling at the PM House.