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Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Pakistan remains against bloc politics, says Bilawal

Foreign minister says country is looking forward with all countries
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, along with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang not seen in the picture, addresses media after a meeting in Islamabad on May 6, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, along with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang not seen in the picture, addresses media after a meeting in Islamabad on May 6, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
A combination of file photos show Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (L), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (C), and Afghan interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi (R). AFP/Screengrab
A combination of file photos show Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (L), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (C), and Afghan interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi (R). AFP/Screengrab

As the world sees rising competition between China and the United States, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari made clear on Saturday his country’s position, which he said, remained against bloc politics.

He also used the term “great power politics” to describe the ongoing tiff between the two leading economies of the world.

“We look forward to working with all countries to address our common challenges of development and connectivity,” he at a press conference after the Fourth Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who is here on his inaugural visit, was standing alongside him.

The strategic dialogue is a structured mechanism that reviews bilateral cooperation in key areas, according to the Foreign Office. The third round of the Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue took place in July 2021 in Chengdu, China.

“We are committed to remaining engaged with China to promote South-South cooperation, especially in light of emerging global concerns like human-induced climate change,” said Bilawal.

 Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang during a media briefing after a bilateral meeting. Screengrab via YouTube/ PTV News
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang during a media briefing after a bilateral meeting. Screengrab via YouTube/ PTV News

The two sides also noted that peace and stability in Afghanistan remained vital for socioeconomic development, connectivity, and prosperity in the region. “We will continue to work with all stakeholders for peaceful, stable, prosperous, and united Afghanistan.”

Bilawal stated that Pakistan would continue to “firmly” support China on all core issues of its national interest, including Taiwa, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.

Support to China

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Pakistan will continue to support China’s interests at every international forum.

He made these comments after a one-on-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang in Islamabad on Saturday.

“We are grateful for China’s unconditional support,” Bilawal said thanking China for the swift evacuation of Pakistanis from the conflict-hit Sudan.

Pakistan has long-standing relations with China and are touching new heights, he said. Both former Prime Ministers Zulfiqar Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif played an important role in relations.

PM Shehbaz Sharif attaches importance to relations with China, he said.

He termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor an important project for both countries. “Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif started important projects with China.”

Trilateral meeting

Top diplomats from China and Afghanistan would participate in the trilateral foreign ministers’ dialogue in Islamabad later today.

They will have talks on security, regional connectivity, and trade, according to the foreign ministry.

The trilateral forum was established two years ago, and the earlier meetings were held in Beijing and Kabul in 2017 and 2018.

They will have talks on security, regional connectivity, and trade, according to the foreign ministry.

The trilateral forum was established two years ago, and the earlier meetings were held in Beijing and Kabul in 2017 and 2018.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang flew in from India after attending the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference. Hours later, Afghan interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi landed in Islamabad from Kabul.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto held a bilateral meeting with Gang on Friday night.

Bhutto and Muttaqi would also hold bilateral talks on Sunday. The security situation in the region and the fight against militants both in Pakistan and Afghanistan would be discussed during the meetings, diplomatic sources told DPA.

The main focus of the talks, however, would be a Chinese plan for a rail link that would pass through Pakistan and Afghanistan under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), they added.

“That’s what the Chinese want to do and we are already onboard,” a Pakistani official said.

The rail link would connect the Chinese Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea in Pakistan and would also connect China to central Asia and Europe, they said.

“This will give China access to almost the entire world,” one of the officials said.

Beijing is undertaking an estimated $60-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to link Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea through a network of highways and railways.

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