China vows to ‘deepen cooperation’ with Pakistan as top diplomats meet in Beijing

China on Wednesday vowed to “deepen” cooperation with Pakistan as the top diplomats of two Himalayan neighbors met in Beijing.

Beijing, however, asked Islamabad to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel, projects, and institutions in Pakistan.

This was discussed as Wang Yi hosted his counterpart Mohammad Ishaq Dar, who is also Pakistan’s deputy prime minister, for the fifth China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue, a readout from Beijing said.

“China’s determination to deepen cooperation with Pakistan will not waver,” Wang told Dar, who is on a four-day official trip to China.

“At the same time,” Wang told Dar, “it is hoped that Pakistan will continue to make every effort to … eliminate the worries of Chinese enterprises and personnel.”

The veteran Chinese diplomat said Beijing “is willing to further deepen counter-terrorism and security cooperation with Pakistan.”

Wang’s stress on the security of Chinese interests in Pakistan came as five Chinese engineers were killed on March 26 in the Bisham area of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of the South Asian nation.

However, the Chinese foreign minister noted the “iron friendship” between China and Pakistan is “heartily supported by the peoples of the two countries and is as solid as a rock and as heavy as Mount Tai.”

Beijing calls for ‘political unity, social stability’ in Pakistan

Acknowledging Pakistan’s firm adherence to the one-China principle, Wang said: “China has always firmly supported Pakistan in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs.”

Wang said China was quick in extending congratulatory messages to the Pakistani leaders after Feb. 08 general elections.

“China believes that under the leadership of the new government, Pakistan will enter a new stage of political unity, social stability, controllable security, and sustainable development,” Wang said.

On the multi-billion-dollar Beijing-funded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Wang said Beijing was “willing to work” with Islamabad to “pool efforts to promote” the construction of an “upgraded version” of the project which connects northwestern China to the Arabian Sea through southwestern Pakistan.

“The two sides should maintain good momentum of pragmatic cooperation,” he said.

(Source: AA)