China always supported our stance on Kashmir: Nawaz

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BEIJING: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is leading a high-level delegation to China, met Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Li Keqiang on Saturday.

On the meeting with the Chinese president, PM Sharif said the presence of all the chief ministers [of Pakistan] shows the importance our nation gives to Pak-China ties. 

“China is our strategic partner, and has always stood by our stance on the Kashmir issue,” said the premier. 

The benefits of the Chinese investment of $56 billion with regards to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will soon reach the common man in Pakistan, he added.

Earlier, after his meeting with the Chinese premier, Sharif said that Pakistan considers China its most important friend and fully backs Beijing’s One Belt One Road Initiative. He said participation of key world leaders in the forum is a good omen.

“We all stand as one for CPEC and Pakistan is determined for its early completion,” the Pakistani PM said.

After the meeting between the two heads, ministers from the two sides signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) of multiple agreements between China and Pakistan. These included agreements on the upgradation of Pakistan Railways system as well as development of an international airport in Gwadar. 

The PM is accompanied by chief ministers of all four provinces, as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Railways Minister Saad Rafique,

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir and IT Minister Anushay Rehman, among others.

The prime minister will attend the inaugural session of the One Belt One Road Summit, a plenary meeting of high-level dialogue and the state banquet.

The prime minister will also attend leaders’ roundtable sessions scheduled to be held on the second day of the forum.

As many as 28 heads of state and government, over 50 leaders of international organisations, over 100 ministerial-level officials, as well as over 1,200 delegates from various countries and regions will participate in the forum.

The forum will build consensus and connect development strategies of various countries and will also examine cooperation in key areas and finalise major projects in infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges, according to a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Medium and long term cooperation initiatives will be announced and long-term cooperation mechanisms explored to build a closer and more result-oriented network of partnerships

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