ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Pakistani senior official Syed Tariq Fatemi and reiterated that Beijing steadfastly supports Islamabad’s fight against terrorism, reports Chinese State-run news agency Xinhua.
In the meeting, which came in the wake of a suicide bombing attack that killed at least 72 people at a public park in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday evening, Wang noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have respectively extended condolences over the incident to their Pakistani counterparts, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
China stands firmly behind Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism and safeguarding national security and stability, Wang stressed. “At this moment, the Chinese people are standing by the side of the Pakistani people.”
For his part, Fatemi, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, asked Wang to convey the Pakistani leaders’ sincere gratitude, saying that his country has deeply felt the friendship and support of the Chinese government and people and stands ready to step up cooperation with China in the common battle against terrorism.
As regards bilateral relations, Wang noted that the all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries has been deepening steadily.
As they celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relationship this year, the two sides should seize the opportunity and push for new achievements in their cooperation in various fields in line with the outcome of Xi’s visit to Pakistan last year, he added.
The two partners, Wang said, should maintain close high-level contact and join hands to advance the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a two-pronged vision proposed by Xi and commonly referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative. Specifically, they need to concentrate on the “1+4” cooperation framework, which has the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the core and the four areas of port, transport infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation as priorities, he said.
Meanwhile, Wang suggested that China and Pakistan beef up cooperation on defense and security and align their engagement in international affairs so as to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights of developing countries. Fatemi pointed out that Pakistan and China constitute a community of common destiny and that boosting bilateral friendship and cooperation is crucial to his country’s endeavors to achieve peace, stability and progress.
Pakistan, he said, will work closely with China in high-level communication and practical cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the two nations and make more contributions to regional development. Wang is accompanying Xi in the US capital for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, which opens on Thursday and concludes on Friday. Fatemi is leading the Pakistani delegation for the summit in place of Sharif, who canceled his trip due to the Lahore attack.